I'd asked about scope and received an answer that I seek clarification for.
You talked of "feasible designs" to be presented in 2020 when more information about scope can be provided. You then talked of "design solution" being selected when the project scope can be determined.
How is the "design solution" selected and would this "design solution that is selected" be, in normal course, one of the "feasible designs" that go out to the community?
It is not clear what is the process that changes "feasible designs" where "more information about project scope is known" to "selected design solution" when "scope is determined" i.e. how much or what type of community input is in that process.
Thanks for the follow up question and sorry if our earlier responses have caused any confusion. To clarify, in 2020 we will let you know which design solutions are feasible, and then we will select a design from the feasible options (based on technical factors and feedback). We are planning to undertake consultation at each point and we welcome feedback about what we should include in our project scope.
Is the level crossing being removed to accomodate more Trucks?
Rumour has it, that is the true agenda, once the Westgate tunnel is completed and the level crossing is removed, will Williamstown and Newport residents be inundated with Trucks?
Hi, thanks for the question. No, it's not being removed to accommodate more trucks - the crossing is being removed to improve safety and reduce congestion. It has a terrible safety record with a number of incidents and near misses. To understand what is likely to happen with truck movements we will need to discuss broader network plans with relevant teams in the Department of Transport and undertake traffic modelling for each feasible design option. We will also consult the community on the feasible designs.
I've been trying to understand scope and when I look at the LXRP business plan I see in s9.4 a deliverable of "A detailed scope description of the recommended solution". Will we get to see this such that we know what is and is not in scope for the project such that we are not surprised on finding something is "out of scope" later on? When will it be known what the scope is - at what stage of the consultation or construction?
Hello, thanks for your question. The scope for the project can only be determined once a design solution has been selected. We plan to go out to the community with feasible designs in 2020, at which time we will be able to provide more information about the project scope.
Are your plans to go ABOVE sky rail ? If this is the case it will :
• Take away the heritage environment of Williamstown which is old world and unique, and has many Victorian and Edwardian properties and tree lined streets
• ABOVE is far too big for the area, with townhouses right on the railway line, plus homes, shops etc.
• Properties in the area will devalue and as the railway line is so close there will be a lot of soot, dust etc. causing a health issue to the residence in that area who may not even be aware
• Having UNDER would make it available to plant more trees, garden (greenery) and the streets going into Kororoit Creek/Ferguson/Railway/Victoria etc. could have a stop sign giving way (there would be no pedestrians or cyclists as this would all be under. I feel this would be the best option, your thoughts please.
Not remove and put under pedestrian access and cyclist as previously.
Hi Sally, thanks for your feedback. We have not yet determined the best way to remove the level crossing at Ferguson Street. Factors such as community feedback, heritage, impacts to nearby properties and environmental impacts will be considered when developing the designs for the level crossing removal.
Afternoon, Where can I register to attend the Community Consultation meeting to be held at the Williamstown Town Hall - Thursday 28 Nov?? Regards Dorothy
Hi Dorothy, thanks for getting in touch.
The session on Thursday 28 November is booked out. For those that can’t make it to the workshops, we’ve also replicated the feedback structure of the workshops on our online portal, your.levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/fergusonstreet
You can provide feedback online at any time during this consultation period and this input will be used alongside the in-person feedback from those attending the workshops.
This will not be the only chance for people to provide feedback – there will be several opportunities in the future, as this project progresses through the planning phase.
What is the budget for this project? thanks
There is no specific budget at this stage for this site – this will be confirmed once a design has been finalised and a contract has been awarded.
At present the arrival of a train (of which there are only 3 per hour, in each direction) provides a welcome stop in the flow of traffic to allow the entry of cars from side streets (eg. Victoria St, Railway Pl) into Ferguson St/Kororoit Creek Rd. If the boom gates are removed, how is this traffic going to be able to get out? Traffic lights will be needed surely?
Hi Tarli, this is something we will look at when we do our traffic modelling. At this stage we have baseline traffic counts and when we prepare designs we will do traffic modelling to see how the traffic would flow. If the modelling shows an issue we can then make adjustments to the designs in response. This could include, for example, altering the existing pedestrian crossings to ensure that there are sufficient breaks in traffic to keep the intersections flowing. Note that the timetables for the Williamstown line have many more than three services per hour in peak periods - for example, there are more than 10 in the 7am to 9am morning peak.
Based on actual video surveillance during peak times, the Williamstown Crossing Group found that the pedestrian crossing was the more significant impediment to traffic flows than the boom gates. Is this acknowledged by the LXRP, and how is this problem to be addressed to ensure there is maximum effectiveness achieved from the final design?
Hi Tarli, we are aware that the pedestrian lights are also a source of delays. As part of our consultation with the local community we are asking questions about pedestrian and cycling movements around the level crossing. This feedback will inform decisions about the designs.
Where is the published information on so-called 'incidents and near misses'? How is this information collected?
Hi Tarli, safety incident data has been sourced from national and state rail safety regulators. Incident data must be reported by rail operators and can include fatal or non-fatal collisions between a train and a vehicle or pedestrian, as well as near misses. A near miss occurs when the train driver takes emergency action (or would have if there was sufficient time) – such as sounding a continuous horn or applying emergency brakes to avoid impact.
This crossing needs to be a cut and cover, as over the past few years the railways have sold off the land along the line to developers to build multi storey flats. These properties cannot have trains passing by, so close to their windows. You can then sell off the airspace above the existing station for more housing to offset th extra costs involved.
Hi Greg, thanks for your feedback. We have not yet determined the best way to remove the level crossing. Factors such as the impacts to nearby properties, as well as feedback from the community, will certainly be considered.
Following development of options, will the community be involved in the decision making process with these?
Hi Mal, yes we will undertake further community consultation next year.
What is the major reason for getting rid of this crossing when there are others that need doing such as Spotswood and Yarraville?
Hi Williamstown Local, the major reason is that the Ferguson Street level crossing has a terrible safety record with a number of incidents and near misses.
What studies or modelling of district truck movements has been done to ensure that Ferguson St/Kororoit Creek Rd doesn't get more truck traffic through what is a purely residential area? This is especially of interest to this community since truck bans have been announced for major east-west arterial roads elsewhere in our district eg. Francis St?
Hi Tarli, We have taken baseline traffic and pedestrian counts and will undertake modelling when we develop designs. In choosing a design the project team considers impacts to local roads both long term and during construction. The project is in the early planning phase and we have not yet determined the design.
What is Melissa Horne’s official position on the crossing removal? Does she want rail under road, or does she support sky rail, or road over rail? She should come clean with what, as our local member, she wants for her electorate!
Hi msutho, this question is best directed to the Member for Williamstown.
How does the LXRP propose to provide a holistic approach to the design to include all aspects of traffic movement (vehicles, cyclists, disabled personnel, pedestrians …etc) for both local and through traffic outside the immediate area of the level crossing
The purpose of this phase of consultation is to ask the community what's important and how they move around the local area, and that feedback will help inform our designs.
Has the LXRP assessed the potential for larger vehicles and those with multiple trailers to utilise the crossing after the boom gates have been removed, as well as the potential for large vehicular traffic from the Newport Railway Workshops and Altona industrial area
No - however, our project team will discuss broader network plans with the relevant teams within the Department of Transport when we develop designs. Designs have not yet been developed.
I notice sometimes that there are designations of the project area for some of the level crossing removals in govt gazettes with a delay between them appearing in the gazette and when they were submitted to the central planning office. Case in point is the Bell and Moreland Level Crossing Removal Project where the gazette of 7 November 2019 (S450) says the plans were lodged 22 November 2018. Have there been such plans lodged with the central planning office for Ferguson St crossing removal that are yet to appear in a gazette?
Hi Bikehs7, a project area cannot be designated until we have determined a design solution for the level crossing removal.
What criteria need to be met for the train line to be put under the road rather than up in the air?
Hi Justinb, there are a range of factors which help determine which designs are used to remove level crossings. These factors may include conditions at the location, geotechnical and engineering assessments, and community input.