COTT WANTS LIGHTS AT CROSS­ING

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By JON BAS­SETT

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.

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