The Victorian Government has completed the removal of a 75th level crossing with the completion of works on Bedford Road in Ringwood, allowing trains to start running in the new rail trench more than a year ahead of schedule. 

Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan announced the major milestone as new data shows that, on top of easing congestion across Victoria’s suburbs, level crossing removals have made roads much safer – preventing more than 100 crashes and near misses every year.

Metro Trains data indicates that the number of train and vehicle collisions and near misses across the metropolitan network has fallen by almost three quarters, from an average of 21 incidents a month in 2017 to just five incidents a month in 2023 as a result of the Level Crossing Removal Project.

Removing the crossings has also slashed commutes – saving close to 50 hours of boom gate down time during the morning peak each day and allowing additional train services without more congestion.

The Project has averaged one crossing removal almost every six weeks since the first set of boom gates were removed at Burke Road in Glen Iris in 2016.

More than 91 million hours have been worked across the program, making it one of Victoria’s biggest employers supporting almost 6,000 jobs.

More than 13,500 vehicles used the busy Bedford Road crossing every day, experiencing delays when the boom gates were down for 23 minutes in the morning peak – including families and school buses dropping students at Ringwood Secondary College, which sits next door to the crossing.

With the level crossing gone, the Belgrave Line is now boom gate free from the city to Ferntree Gully. The Lilydale Line will be the first rail line to be boom gate-free later in 2024 when level crossings at Dublin Road in Ringwood East, Coolstore Road in Croydon, and Cave Hill Road in Lilydale go a year ahead of schedule.

Boom gates at Brunt Road in Beaconsfield, Keon Parade in Reservoir, Warrigal and Parkers roads in Parkdale, plus three level crossings in Pakenham, are all set to go in 2024 – with the Pakenham Line extended 2km and two new stations being built.

Ms Allan said that the State Government is getting rid of these dangerous and congested level crossings that frustrate thousands of drivers every day.

“We promised, we delivered – and we’re not done yet,” Ms Allan said. 

Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Danny Pearson, said, “The results are significant – fewer incidents, reduced congestion, more rail services and thousands of jobs.”

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