Bell Street in Preston is a major east-west arterial road which runs from Heidelberg in the east to the Tullamarine Freeway in the west. Bell Street is also intersected by several key north-south arterial roads including Plenty Road, St Georges Road and High Street in the Preston area.
The level crossing is located on Bell Street, between St Georges Road and High Street. On a typical weekday the road carries 52,000 vehicles, many of which use this road during the morning peak between 7:00am and 9:00am. During this time, the boom gates are down for approximately 27 minutes, significantly impacting travel times for thousands of motorists and causing frustration for all road users.
Planning is underway for the removal of the Bell Street level crossing, with community consultation having started in mid 2016 and continuing into 2017. During this stage we will also be undertaking planning and technical investigations to help with the development of options at this location.
Early to mid 2016
Options development (current stage)
Late 2016 to late 2017
Thank you to everyone who provided feedback online or at our community drop in sessions during October 2016, and told us what is important to them about the project area. We appreciate so many community members joining the conversation about their area.
The Preston community told us they want:
- a vibrant station precinct
- improved traffic flow
- safer paths and better connections for pedestrians and cyclists
- a greener station precinct, with more plants and trees
- improved facilities at Bell Station
- pride in your community with a visually pleasing design
- a new station that reflects the heritage features of the existing station.
This feedback is informing the development of design options for the level crossing removal.
In the coming months there will be more opportunities to have your say about how we can transform the local area in a way that will best benefit your community.
If you have any questions, please get in touch by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1800 762 667 (24 hours 7 days).
There will be a number of opportunities to get involved and provide feedback as the project progresses. Local residents, businesses and other stakeholders will be provided project information via website updates, regular bulletins and letterbox drops, local newspaper advertising, onsite information boards and community information displays.
We will be back out in your community in mid 2017 to present the feasible design options.
When will the Bell Street level crossing be removed?
Works are planned to commence in 2018 and expected to take 18 months to two years to complete.
What will be done before construction starts?
Planning and technical investigation works got underway in 2016 and will continue into 2017. These works include:
- Geotechnical investigations to learn about the ground conditions.
- Site surveys, including feature surveys and environmental surveys.
- Traffic studies.
- Determining where the existing service utilities are located.
- Stakeholder engagement.
- Community updates.
- Development of design options.
When will design commence?
Design work started in mid-2016 and feedback from community consultation will be used to inform the development of the design.
Have you decided on the design for the level crossing removal at Bell Street?
No. There are several design options when removing a level crossing to separate the road and railway line. These options include building a railway bridge over the road, lowering the railway line under the road, lowering the road under the railway line or a road bridge over the railway line.
We will investigate several options before a recommended design is determined. Before then, considerations will include community feedback, constructability, cost, technical constraints, impacts to rail operations and road traffic and development opportunites.
When will you consult with the community regarding this project?
We started consulting with the community in mid 2016, and the community will have a number opportunities to have their say on the project through the remainder of 2016 and into 2017.
Please visit this website regularly for updates about how and when to have your say.