FULL STEAM AHEAD: ONE YEAR SINCE THREE DANGEROUS CROSSINGS REMOVED

Back by popular demand – the much loved heritage steam train will return to Bentleigh later this year.

Passengers in Bentleigh have now experienced 12 months without dangerous and congested level crossings dividing their communities and causing delays for thousands of drivers each day.

This month marks one year since the Andrews Labor Government removed three level crossings at North, Centre and McKinnon Roads and built three brand new stations at Ormond, McKinnon and Bentleigh.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Member for Bentleigh Nick Staikos joined local residents and train passengers at Bentleigh station today to celebrate the milestone and reflect on the great change that these level crossing removals have brought to the local community.

Last year’s event to celebrate the removal of the crossings attracted more than 20,000 visitors across the new stations at Ormond, McKinnon and Bentleigh.

This is another great opportunity to showcase local businesses and provide a terrific day out for families.

Before they were removed, these level crossings were some of Melbourne’s worst, with the boom gates down for up to 48 minutes during the two hour morning peak.

More than 60,000 cars are no longer at risk of getting stuck at the three sets of boom gates, alleviating the frustration and distress that these delays caused.

Removing these level crossings has led to decreased travel time and increased reliability for drivers and emergency service vehicles travelling along North, McKinnon and Centre Roads.

Before the North Road level crossing was removed it could take road-users up to 12 minutes to travel just 800 metres, between Booran Road and Grange Road, and pass through the boom gates in the two hour morning peak. Now this crossing is gone, drivers are travelling this same stretch of road in under five minutes.

Around 7000 local passengers per day are also enjoying the three safer, accessible and more user friendly new stations at Ormond, McKinnon and Bentleigh.

Last year, the level crossings at North, McKinnon and Centre Roads were removed in a 37 day winter construction blitz. More than 1,000 staff worked around-the-clock to lower the rail line and build three new stations.

These level crossings were the second, third and forth to be removed by the Labor Government, as part of its massive project to remove 50 of the worst level crossings across Melbourne by 2022.

Quotes attributable to Member for Bentleigh Nick Staikos

“I’m proud to be celebrating one year since these dangerous and congested level crossings were removed and the three new stations were built.”

“It’s been a fantastic year for my community, with the crossings gone and the new stations making it easier for locals to get where they need to go safer and sooner.”

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