Level crossings removal in Moreland
The Victorian Government intends to remove 50 level crossings across Melbourne, and has established the Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) to deliver these projects.
In September 2016 details of a specific 11 crossing removals were announced which included three within the City of Moreland:
- Glenroy Road, Glenroy
- Bell Street, Coburg
- Moreland Road, Brunswick
These are welcome projects after many years of Council-led advocacy to prioritise removal of level crossings in Moreland.
It is expected that the level crossing removals in Moreland will be completed by 2022.
The level crossing removal projects are funded and delivered by the State Government through the LXRA.
These projects are very significant State investments and have the potential to be very positive ‘place shapers’.
All three projects are within our Activity Centres and each will involve redevelopment of a train station. In each project area, Council has strong policy positions to encourage growth and to make great places for people, through the relevant Structure Plans.
Council’s role in the level crossing projects are:
- Advocating for good design outcomes consistent with Council’s existing strategic plans and programs.
- Ensuring a clear Council position is strongly advocated for with LXRA.
- Providing the community with information about the LXRA process, timing and what is proposed and what influence the community can have over the projects.
Bell Street and Moreland Road
Council endorsed an advocacy position on the Bell Street and Moreland Road level crossing removals, and the broader Upfield line, at the 11 April 2018 Council meeting. In summary, Council's position is:
- Council understands that the design will either be an elevated rail line over the road (skyrail) or a lowered rail line under the road (trench). LXRA have not yet confirmed their preferred design.
- Council recognises there are pros and cons with both options and it is likely there will be many different views in the community about which option is best.
- Ultimately the decision is not Council’s to make so instead of selecting one option over the other, Council is pushing for the best community outcomes irrespective of which option the State ends up choosing.
- Council recognises the elevated (skyrail) design has a very significant visual impact but on the plus side it creates opportunities to significantly widen the Upfield bike path, potentially create a separate pedestrian path and create a linear corridor of open space under the skyrail with many east-west pedestrian connections.
- These skyrail benefits are only achievable if the State Government commits sufficient budget to the project, otherwise the space left under a skyrail design simply becomes a concrete canyon, an isolated and potentially dangerous urban space.
- The lowered (trench) design does not create the significant visual impact like the elevated design, but it does not create the same opportunity for a linear corridor of open space that skyrail has the potential to do. According to Council’s analysis, the lowered option still allows for significant widening of the Upfield shared path (up to 4 metres wide). Additional parks and east-west connections can also be created if portions of the trench are capped, once again requiring the State to allocate enough budget to the project.
- Council has specified the details of the bike and pedestrian paths and open spaces we are seeking the State government to commit to in either design. These are identified in the maps and cross sections available for download below.
- In addition, it is imperative the design of the Bell Street level crossing removal facilitates Council’s urban renewal plans for Coburg, which have been developed over many years. In particular, the project must bring forward and align with other long proposed State transport infrastructure investments in Coburg, including an enhanced and relocated bus interchange linking buses with the new Coburg Station design and widening of Bell Street to accommodate dedicated bus lanes through Coburg. It would be a huge missed opportunity for integrated transport planning and the renewal of Central Coburg if these State transport investments were not integrated with the Bell Street level crossing removal project.
- Irrespective of which design, Council is asking that the State undertake the Bell and Moreland level crossing removals as a combined project and include removal of Munro St and Reynard Street crossings at the same time – removing four crossings instead of two.
- Finally Council is also seeking the State prioritise an additional eight level crossings through the Brunswick section of the Upfield line.
- Potential cross sections along the Upfield Line, Coburg section after level crossing removals (PDF 2Mb)
- Council’s Advocacy Position - Links and public spaces on the Upfield line between Bell Street and Moreland Road (PDF 1Mb)
- Artist’s Impressions - Upfield line between Bell Street and Moreland Road after level crossing removals (PDF 62Mb)
- Council report DED 16/18 Level Crossing Removals on the Upfield Line - Coburg and Brunswick (PDF 12Mb)
Below is a link to more information which outlines the community benefits Council is seeking to achieve for the Glenroy community from the Glenroy Road level crossing removal.
On 8 February 2017, Council considered a report on the level crossing projects and endorsed seven high level principles and place specific outcomes to form the basis of Council advocacy to the LXRA.
The Council report and minutes can be viewed at Minutes and Past Agendas.
To stay informed on the latest progress with these projects, visit the Level Crossing Removal Authority’s website where you can also sign up for email updates.
For more information email Level Crossing Removal Authority or call 1800 762 667 (24 hours, 7 days).