The blitz to remove a number of level crossings across Melbourne has well and truly ramped up, particularly at Ormond, McKinnon and Bentleigh stations where construction teams are working around the clock to complete the crossing removals. McKinnon station opened to the public on the 1st August and Bentleigh and Ormond stations are on track to open in late August. The removal of these crossing will improve access for drivers, riders and bus passengers, enable more frequent train services to be provided and make communities safer. It will also mean disruptions in the short term until the works are complete.
For information on the current road and rail disruptions click here. If you will be travelling through areas undergoing works, it’s important to be prepared. Here are some things to keep in mind…
1. Plan ahead
The roads around these projects are congested, with some traffic lanes blocked and other roads closed altogether. You will need to give yourself extra time to get to your destination. Remember to drive safely and patiently and take note of changed traffic conditions. Public transport will also take longer along these routes, with buses currently replacing train services where needed. Make sure to check PTV’s website for live travel updates before you start your journey.
We’ve heard that crowded bus replacement services are causing problems, for example school children unable to get on. If your child has a travel buddy for safety on public transport, it may be hard for them to get on a crowded bus together. It is important that you give advice to children about what to do so they’re not stressed if this happens.
2. Try something new
If you normally drive or catch a train for short trips, why not try walking or riding a bike instead. Not only will you get extra exercise, you may even get to your destination quicker. Pedestrian access is being maintained on at least one side at all times at North, McKinnon and Centre roads. If you’re going to the shops, it’s handy to have a backpack with you to carry things home.
Guy on bike
3. On ya bike
With some stations completely closed while works are underway, nearby stations will be experiencing higher volumes of passengers – this also means more drivers struggling to find a car park around the station. If you’re one of these people, consider riding your bike to the station instead. PTV has a list of all the stations that have bike racks and cages. For information on how the bike cages work click here. For information on taking your bike on the train with you click here. This brochure provides tips on riding to work, but it’s handy information to know regardless of where you’re riding to. These maps can help you select the best route to take.
4. On ya motorcycle
If you have a motorcycle and experience at riding in heavy traffic in wet weather, then your motorcycle might be handy right now. The new filtering laws enable you to filter past traffic at less than 30km/h. Check the rules for filtering and enjoy the benefit of your motorcycle while car drivers are stuck in traffic. Remember to wear full protective gear too.
5. Sign up to receive weekly updates
You can sign up here to receive weekly updates on the project including information on travel disruptions. If you can’t find what you’re looking for on the Level Crossing Removal Project website you can call their 24-hour enquiries line on 1800 762 667.
Remember to be patient while the works are taking place because the sooner the works are complete the sooner you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of improved travel around Melbourne. How are you finding the Level Crossing Removal Project? Have you had to change your daily commute?
Burke Road before the level crossing was removed
Burke Road afer the level crossing was removed
Written by Dominique Torpy, Public Transport and Mobility Officer June 30, 2016