Priority Level Crossing Removal Sites: Chelsea
The Victorian Government has adopted a selection framework for future level crossing removals. Under the framework, crossings are prioritised for removal based on the following key principles:
Sites with a record of incidents and a high risk of incidents.
Sites with excessive delay, congestion and unreliability, caused by high train frequencies and high traffic volumes.
Sites where high train frequency significantly limits connectivity between communities and impedes access to important facilities.
Sites where there is an opportunity to increase investment efficiency and minimise disruption through leveraging delivery of other projects across the network. Using this framework, the crossings at Chelsea Road, Argyle Avenue and Swanpool Avenue in Chelsea have been identified as priority sites for future removal.
About 7,000 vehicles currently travel through these crossings each day. The boom gates at these Chelsea sites can be down for up to 40 per cent of the 7:00 to 9:00 am morning peak, when up to 30 trains run through the crossings.
Current network plans involve increasing trains running on the Frankston line, which would mean even more boom gate downtime. As well as causing congestion and delay, these crossings present a safety risk. There has been one serious collision since 2005 and 20 near misses since 2012 in which train drivers have had to take emergency action.
When trains are passing through these crossings they restrict access to important local places – making it difficult for locals to reach Chelsea Station, the Chelsea shopping area, emergency services including the local police station, the beach, Chelsea Longbeach Surf Lifesaving Club and a bicycle priority route.
The current level crossing removals at Bonbeach and Edithvale are located either side of the three Chelsea sites. Coordinating the removal of these five crossings would provide significant delivery efficiencies.
The removal of these level crossings would result in the construction of a new Chelsea Station.
As part of the current program of works, five level crossings have been removed on the Frankston line at North Road in Ormond, McKinnon Road in McKinnon, Centre Road in Bentleigh, Skye/Overton Road in Frankston and Seaford Road in Seaford. A further eight level crossing removals are funded as part of the initial 50 level crossing removals.
Design and next steps
Detailed studies completed for the removal of the level crossings at Bonbeach and Edithvale, including the Environmental Effects Statement and subsequent approvals, confirm that these crossings would be removed by lowering the rail line under the road. Using these detailed studies, investigations have found the preferred design to remove the three Chelsea crossings would also be by lowering the rail line under the road. This option would be subject to further engineering assessments and community consultation.
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