PTA could seek damages for Bayswater bridge repairs after latest crash

The Bayswater rail bridge.
The Bayswater rail bridge.

THE Public Transport Authority is yet to make a decision on whether to seek damages from two truck drivers who hit the Bayswater rail bridge on Mondaypending on-going investigations.

The incidents were the first collisions in 2018, after the bridge was struck 11 times in 2017 and 15 times since 2014.

The bridge has 17 low clearance signs that warn road users of the 3.8m underpass and are located on the bridge and on the approaches to the bridge.

PTA spokesman David Hynes said the signs indicating the height of the underpass had always been prominently displayed.

“As a further measure, in September 2014, we installed a new white and red “strike-pattern” markings and a solar-powered LED flashing signage system on both sides of the bridge,” he said.

“The new markings and lighting cost about $80,000 and were modelled on bridge/traffic markings used in Germany.

“The LED lights on the signs were further upgraded in February 2017.”

Mr Hynes said it was the responsibility of all road users to be aware of the height of their vehicles to ensure they could travel safely underneath the bridges.

“In the event that damage is caused by a vehicle striking the bridge, where possible the PTA will issue an invoice to the company or driver involved to pay for the repairs,” he said.

He said the PTA and the Metronet team would continue working with the City of Bayswater about the future plans of the Bayswater train station.

Bayswater Deputy Mayor Cr Chris Cornish said the Bayswater Town Centre Structure Plan was put on hold pending the State Government’s upgrade plans for the station.

“We understand that the plans for the station are progressing and we hope to see what’s being proposed in the next month or two,” he said.

“We believe it is important for any train station upgrade to also address the ongoing bridge issues.”

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti, who made an pre-election $40 million pledge to upgrade the station, said the department and the council would be undertaking community consultation about what people want to see in the area.

“In particular, in relation to potential new stations and also dealing with what seems to be something that happens quite often and that is the trucks crashing into that bridge,” she said.

“I have asked to see what other warning systems that we can put in place but also more generally as part of the connection of the Ellenbrook line into that area.

“As part of the infrastructure works as part of the Ellenbrook line, we are looking at that whole area because there is no doubt that area will play a key role in not only the Forrestfield rail line but also the Ellenbrook rail line.”

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