Priority Level Crossing Removal Sites: Hoppers Crossing
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 crossing at Old Geelong Road in Hoppers Crossing has been identified as a priority site for future removal.
About 18,000 vehicles currently travel through this crossing each day. That figure is forecast to grow by about 6 per cent to about 19,000 vehicles by 2026. The boom gates in Hoppers Crossing can be down for up to 36 per cent of the 7-9 am morning peak, when up to 25 trains run through the crossings. Current network plans involve increasing trains running on the Werribee line, which would mean even more boom gate downtime. As well as causing congestion and delay, this level crossing in Hoppers Crossing presents a significant safety risk.
There have been three serious collisions since 2005 and 20 near misses since 2012, when train drivers have had to take emergency action. This crossing also restricts access to important local places – making it difficult for locals to reach the train station, shopping centres, hospitals, a bicycle priority route and other important local facilities.
Removing this crossing as a package alongside the existing level crossing removal site at Cherry Street in Werribee would present significant delivery efficiencies – it would be cost effective and limit disruption to road and rail users.
Werribee line Along the Werribee line, the level crossing at Kororoit Creek Road in Williamstown North – on the Altona Loop – has already been removed under the current Level Crossing Removal Project, with level crossings still to be removed at Aviation Road in Laverton, and at Werribee and Cherry streets in Werribee.
The removal of the Old Geelong Road level crossing in Hopper Crossing would be the fifth to be removed along the Werribee line, leaving only three level crossings between Newport and Werribee stations, excluding those on the Altona Loop.
Design and next steps
Early investigations suggest that the most likely design to remove the level crossing at Old Geelong Road would be to raise the road over the rail line. This option would be subject to further engineering assessments and community consultation.
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