The Business Case for the Level Crossing Removal Project has been published, detailing the benefits of removing 50 level crossings across Melbourne.
Until recently, level crossings have been removed one at a time or in pairs, and over a number of years. While this approach goes some way toward addressing localised issues, the scale of the problem is so big that it calls for a strategic approach and corresponding scale of investment.
The program of crossing removals will have benefits for safety, congestion, and creating better connected, livable and thriving communities.
The Level Crossing Removal Program is a critical enabler of other major rail projects, including the Cranbourne/Pakenham line upgrade and the Metro Tunnel.
As a standalone program, the Level Crossing Removal Program is expected to deliver a Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) of 0.78.
The combination of the Level Crossing Removal Program, with interdependent projects, including the Cranbourne/Pakenham line upgrade and the Metro Tunnel, is expected to deliver a net benefit of $5.1 billion and a BCR of 1.2.
Removing level crossings is about more than economics, it is also about saving lives. Twenty people died after being hit by a train between 2005 and 2014 at one of the 50 crossings slated for removal, with more than 60 collisions and nearly 680 near misses also occurring at those 50 sites.
Ten level crossings have already been removed, a further 13 are underway and all 50 will be removed by the end of 2022.