Melbourne’s transport network includes approximately 180 road/rail level crossings. Road traffic at these level crossings is managed by boom gates that give priority to trains. Level crossings interrupt the flow of road traffic and contribute to congestion and delays on Melbourne’s roads. The 2015 Australian Infrastructure Audit projected that the cost of road congestion in the Melbourne/Geelong area is expected to reach approximately $9 billion by 2031 (2011 prices).
As Melbourne’s train network is modernised, longer and more frequent trains are planned to be introduced to the network to cater for increased demand. Longer and more frequent trains at level crossings will increase delays for road users.
Level crossings also introduce a ‘conflict point’ between rail and road traffic, which creates safety issues. Incidents at level crossings, including collisions and signal faults, impact the efficiency and reliability of Melbourne’s transport network.
This initiative proposes to remove priority level crossings in Melbourne. The objective of the initiative is to deliver a more reliable, convenient, productive and safer transport system in Melbourne.
The Victorian Government, through the Level Crossing Removal Authority, has committed to the removal of 75 level crossings across metropolitan Melbourne by 2025. By the end of 2018, 29 level crossings had been removed, with planning and early consultation underway for the delivery of the remainder.