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 east-west 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.Cars blocking drivers’ views into Curtin Avenue. last Friday.