ALP puts spotlight on dangerous level crossings

Rita Saffioti, Dave Kelly and Lisa Baker MLA at the train crossing at Caledonian Avenue and Whatley Crescent in Maylands.  Picture: David Baylis        www.communitypix.com.au   d444065
Rita Saffioti, Dave Kelly and Lisa Baker MLA at the train crossing at Caledonian Avenue and Whatley Crescent in Maylands. Picture: David Baylis        www.communitypix.com.au d444065

DANGEROUS level crossings on the Midland line in Bayswater and Bassendean need fixing to improve traffic flow and facilitate potential urban redevelopment, WA Labor says.

The promise was part of the party’s relaunched Metronet campaign, with Labor members touring the metropolitan area to sell the $2.5 billion project.

First launched in 2013 as an election commitment, Metronet features extensive new rail lines, extensions of existing lines throughout Perth and improvements to dangerous level crossings.

Opposition transport spokeswoman Rita Saffioti said fixing level crossings reduced congestion, improved safety and helped with urban regeneration and development.

“It’s quite clear while the Government committed $2 billion to the Forrestfield rail link, it hasn’t really thought about the existing Midland line,” Ms Saffioti said.

“When you develop rail lines you have to do it in a co-ordinated integrated way and our key criticism of the Government is that it hasn’t looked at the public transport system as a whole, continues to do individual projects and doesn’t see how we can make our system work as a whole.

“Spending $2 billion on the Forrestfield rail link and $7 million in total from Bayswater to Perth is outrageous.”

In State Parliament last month, Transport Minister Dean Nalder said there had been no funding allocated for works between Bayswater and Perth stations, but about $7 million was going towards disabled access and work on track crossovers at Bayswater.

“Things such as car parking, other stations, level crossings and whatever we are thinking of doing is separate,” Mr Nalder said. “There are 31 level crossings across the metropolitan area and work has been undertaken to prioritise work on them based on incidents and other factors.

“All members would agree that it would be ideal if we could remove level rail crossings.”

Bassendean MLA Dave Kelly said the two worst rail crossings on the Midland line were at the intersection of Caledonian Avenue and Whatley Crescent in Maylands, and Collier Road and Guildford Road in Bassendean.

“This one here, Caledonian Avenue and Whatley Crescent, with the airport rail link the number of trains coming through will increase by 100 per cent.”

Bayswater MLA Lisa Baker said it was important to fix congestion hot spots because the airport link would bring more trains and delays at these level crossings.