By Jessica Micallef
The notorious Gap Road level crossing will be removed if Labor is re-elected at next month’s state election.
The state government made the announcement last week. It said while the preferred design for the removal was road under rail, the final decision was subject to further engineering and consultation with the local community.
About 19,000 vehicles currently travel through the crossing every day, and that number is expected to grow to 27,000 by 2026.
Hume mayor Geoff Porter said the removal of the level crossing had been a long time coming for residents and businesses in Sunbury.
“Hume City Council has been aware for some time that this rail crossing is a cause for frustration,” he said.
“We know how successful the level crossing removal at Camp Road in Broadmeadows has been and council welcomes the Victorian government’s election commitment to remove the Gap Road/Station Street level crossing in Sunbury.
“This would also be good news for jobs in the area during construction and would create easier access to local small businesses within the town and Sunbury Square.”
Member for Sunbury Josh Bull welcomed the election pledge. He said boom gates at Gap Road can be down for up to 26 per cent during the morning peak.
“This level crossing is a dangerous death-trap, leaving local families stranded for far too long in traffic,” Mr Bull said.
“It’s time for it to go.”
Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan said the removal will help reduce traffic and improve vehicle safety.
“No government has ever removed this many level crossings this quickly – reducing congestion, improving public transport, saving lives and creating thousands of jobs along the way,” Ms Allan said.