La­bor vows re­moval of cross­ing

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Quick News - By JON BAS­SETT

GET­TING rid of Cottes­loe’s Vic­to­ria Street level cross­ing where a train hit a truck on March 6 is in the Op­po­si­tion’s promised Metronet public trans­port plan claimed to cost $2.5 bil­lion for pri­or­ity projects.

“I can’t re­ally be­lieve the cross­ing’s in­ter­sec­tion there, with Curtin Av­enue is so dan­ger­ous in terms of its con­struc­tion,” Op­po­si­tion plan­ning spokes­woman Rita Saf­fi­oti said, af­ter vis­it­ing the cross­ing last Fri­day.

The cross­ing slopes up­hill east­west be­tween Stir­ling High­way and Curtin Av­enue. The Perth-bound train hit the back of the truck that was stopped over rail tracks be­cause traf­fic ahead was creep­ing for­ward, forc­ing cars to bank up in a left-turn­ing Curtin Av­enue slip lane.

Ms Saf­fi­oti said the cross­ing was dan­ger­ous be­cause its traf­fic lights and boom gates were too close and she would seek “ac­cu­rate sta­tis­tics” about ac­ci­dents in the area and talk to coun­cils and the RAC about the prob­lem. But it could take 10 to 15 years for Metronet to get rid of cross­ings, in­clud­ing those on the Ar­madale and Mid­land rail lines through La­bor vot­ing ar­eas where Ms Saf­fi­oti launched her plan on Septem­ber 7.

She said some of the Ar­madale line’s cross­ings had boom gates down up to 30 min­utes each hour and $73 mil­lion was es­ti­mated for the “sub­stan­tial” work needed at a sim­i­lar cross­ing in Kelmscott.

Af­ter the Vic­to­ria Street crash, Cottes­loe Coun­cil asked Main Roads to im­prove safety, in­clud­ing in­ves­ti­gat­ing more traf­fic lights, but coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Mat Hum­frey said there had been no re­sponse six months later.

A PTA spokesman there were plans to re­move the Vic­to­ria Street, Mos­man Park or Jar­rad Street level cross­ings on the Fre­man­tle line, and while re­moval of all cross­ings was the “ul­ti­mate goal” it was “very costly and very lo­gis­ti­cally dif­fi­cult”.

He said safety was pro­vided by highly vis­i­ble warn­ing of ap­proach­ing trains, and a Stay off the Tracks cam­paign would be in­stalled at Vic­to­ria Street this week.

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Op­po­si­tion trans­port spokes­woman Rita Saf­fi­oti.

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