COMMUNITY CONSULTATION BEGINS ON FAST-TRACKED DIGGERS REST LEVEL CROSSING REMOVALS
The dangerous level crossings at Old Calder Highway and Watsons Road, Diggers Rest will be gone for good in 2025 to make the Sunbury Line level crossing free, one year earlier than planned.
Getting rid of these last two level crossings on the Sunbury Line will allow more trains to run more often once the Metro Tunnel opens in 2025, and clears the path for future development in this growth area. It will also improve traffic flow for the 6,300 vehicles that travel through the two level crossings daily.
Up to 27 trains travel through these crossings during the morning peak, creating around 36 minutes of boom gate down time.
The Level Crossing Removal Project team has begun community consultation to help inform aspects of the design and provide context about the flow of traffic as well as cyclist and pedestrian movements in the area, with locals invited to share their insights into what they enjoy about the area and how they move around it.
Expert assessments have determined that road over rail bridges for both Old Calder Highway and Watsons Road are the best designs for the area. Further engineering assessments and community engagement will now be carried out on these projects to further inform the designs.
This work complements the recent level crossing removal at Gap Road, Sunbury, where a new road underpass and rail bridge separating trains and cars has unclogged a major bottleneck, and at Calder Park Drive and Holden Road, Calder Park, where work to remove the level crossings will get underway this year.
Major works are also forging ahead on the Sunbury Road Upgrade, with beams lifted into place to form the foundation of the new bridge at Jacksons Creek earlier this year.
This additional creek crossing will take Sunbury Road from two to four lanes, improving the flow of traffic to emerging communities in Sunbury’s south-east. The project will reduce congestion, providing safer journeys for more than 25,000 drivers who use the road every day.
These projects build on the Victorian Government’s $27 billion investment in transport improvements in Melbourne’s west, including the Sunbury Line Upgrade, which will make room for 113,000 extra peak hour passengers and high-capacity trains on the line.
Combined with the Metro Tunnel it will give Sunbury Line passengers direct access to five new CBD stations, including connections to the City Loop and will allow trains to travel 100 kilometres from Sunbury to Cranbourne/Pakenham without a single level crossing.
The community is invited to provide feedback for the Diggers Rest level crossing removals, including insights into what they love about the suburb and how they move in the area, at engage.vic.gov.au/lxrp-diggers-rest.
With 70 now gone for good, level crossing removals around Melbourne are ahead of schedule, allowing other removals to be brought forward in the program.
The Victorian Government is removing 110 level crossings across Melbourne by 2030, when the Frankston, Cranbourne, Pakenham, Lilydale, Sunbury and Werribee lines will be level crossing free.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“The Sunbury Line will be level crossing free by 2025 – one of six lines we’re making free of boom gates along with the Cranbourne, Pakenham, Frankston, Lilydale and Werribee lines.”
“We’re thrilled to fast-track the Diggers Rest level crossing removals and we’ll now get on with the next step of the project, inviting the community to provide feedback so we can shape the designs of the project.”
Quote attributable to Member for Sunbury and Parliamentary Secretary for Level Crossings Josh Bull
“Community feedback is a crucial part of all level crossing removal projects and we’re asking locals to get involved and to have their say on this transformational project for Diggers Rest, which will be delivered a year ahead of schedule in 2025.”