The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has welcomed the Commonwealth and State Governments’ pledge to grade separate the Springvale Road level crossing in Nunawading. However, it says that Springvale Road should not be done in isolation and that other crossings on the line need to be eliminated simultaneously.
“Springvale Road and Mitcham Road are two of the three most dangerous level crossings in Victoria and both should be eliminated at the same time,” said Jeremy Lunn, the PTUA’s Outer East Convenor. “It also makes sense for the Rooks Road level crossing to be abolished together with the other two.”
Under a two-year audit based on the Australian Level Crossings Assessment Model (ALCAM), Springvale Road, Nunawading came up as the highest priority for grade separation in the state. Mitcham Road came in at number three. The Rooks Road crossing, which is in the middle of the other two crossings, was the site of a recent death in March this year.
The PTUA has been calling for the three level crossings to be eliminated since April 2005. Soon after that, the three crossings became the subject of a community-wide campaign known as â€˜TrackDownâ€™.
“Grade separating Springvale Road on its own would be unwise, unless you want to recreate Luna Park’s Big Dipper on the railway line,” Mr Lunn said. “Due to the lay of the land, it is logical to eliminate all three level crossings at the same time.”
Mitcham Road is at the top of the hill, so according to the PTUA, grade separating all three level crossings would also result in a much smoother gradient for trains.
“This translates to a smoother ride and faster travel times,” Mr Lunn said.
Mr Lunn also said construction costs would be reduced as wasteful duplication in project management costs could be avoided. Furthermore, he noted that eliminating all three crossings in one go would lessen inconvenience experienced by commuters in the long run.
“Common sense dictates that one large project will cost less than three smaller separate ones. Passengers will also avoid the inconvenience of catching replacement buses on three different occasions if the three crossings are done at the same time,” Mr Lunn concluded.