COTT WANTS LIGHTS AT CROSSING
COTTESLOE Council wants Main Roads to pay for new traffic lights near the increasingly congested Victoria Street station level crossing where a train hit a truck at 4.40pm on March 5.
However, Main Roads says it is the council’s responsibility to investigate and fund any lights for that crossing that could be removed in five years when an underpass is built nearby.
“The council will be taking this further with Main Roads because the traffic build-up is an issue, and is caused not by local traffic but more from Fremantle and West Coast Highway,” Cottesloe Mayor Jo Dawkins said.
There were no injuries when the Perth-bound train collided with the back of the truck that had two cars waiting to go into Curtin Avenue after negotiating the crossing.
In about 20 minutes, this newspaper saw at least three cars wholly or partially sitting over rail lines after they were similarly stopped by afternoon rush-hour traffic last week.
To stop another train collision, council staff last week asked Main Roads to investigate Curtin Avenue lights that would be synchronised with boom gates and lights on parallel Stirling Highway that carries about 40,000 vehicles a day.
“It’s hard to say how much more traffic will use this crossing, but it will get to the point where it can’t take any more and people have already started taking shortcuts,” Mrs Dawkins said.
She said drivers’ views were blocked by traffic sitting in a slip road west of the crossing, causing cars to creep over the dividing line into Curtin Avenue or turn right and do “rat runs’ through adjacent small streets.
A Main Roads spokeswoman said Curtin Avenue and Victoria Street were “owned and maintained” by the council.
There had been no formal request for an investigation into new lights, which the council would have to pay for unless it got black spot funding.
“Main Roads has a set of signals at Victoria Street and Stirling Highway which are co-ordinated with the rail crossing and run a clearance phase to clear any vehicles queuing over the crossing east bound prior to the arrival of a train,” she said.
Mayor Jo Dawkins and engineering services manager Doug Elkins witnessed cars and other vehicles (bottom picture) stopping on rail lines last week.