The Andrews Labor Government is putting people first and removing dangerous level crossings across Melbourne, including at Main Road in St Albans where 16 people have tragically lost their lives.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan joined local Member Natalie Suleyman and local resident Dianne Dejanovic on Monday 28 November to mark the reopening of Main Road without boom gates for the first time.
Ms Dejanovic’s son Christian was killed at Main Road level crossing in 2012. A memorial will be installed in the forecourt of the new St Albans Station to honour his life, and the lives of others killed at level crossings in Victoria.
Main Road level crossing was Victoria’s most dangerous. There have been two deaths and more than 60 near misses at the crossing in the past decade alone – more than any other, anywhere else in the state.
It was also one of the most congested crossings in Victoria – the boom gates were down for more than an hour in the two-hour morning peak, causing delays and frustration for motorists, cyclists and the entire community.
The project to remove the level crossings at both Main and Furlong Roads in St Albans involved 600 staff working over 176,000 hours to excavate 18 Olympic swimming pools-worth of soil and rock to lower the rail line.
The Labor Government has now removed seven level crossings in less than two years – more than were removed in the entire decade before they came to office. Work is underway at a further 13, and four more will begin next year. By the end of 2018, 37 level crossing removals will be finished or underway.
On top of reducing congestion, increasing safety and improving public transport, the level crossing removal project is creating thousands of local jobs. For more information, visit levelcrossings.vic.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“There have been too many deaths, too much trauma and too many families torn apart by level crossings. We’re putting people first and removing these crossings for good.”
“The memorial will recognise the price the Dejanovic family and countless others have paid, and serve as a reminder of why getting rid of these crossings is so important, and why we haven’t got a moment to waste.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“This vital project is saving lives and getting people home safer and sooner to their families. It’s an investment in people, and we’re getting it done.”
Quotes attributable to Member for St Albans Natalie Suleyman
“St Albans will never be the same – two dangerous level crossings are gone and the lives they claimed will forever be remembered at the new station. This is what it means to put people first.”