Still no cash to fix fatal North Williamstown crossing

A $530,000 PARKING upgrade for North Williamstown railway station has been welcomed, but Labor says it is “appalled” no money has been allocated for a boom gate at a notorious pedestrian crossing where two children died and other people have been injured.

Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder said last week an asphalt car park with 50 extra spaces, to be completed by July, was funded by the state government from the sale of land in Power Street to the Department of Health for an aged-care establishment.

Western suburbs Liberal MP Andrew Elsbury said an upgrade of the Ferguson Street crossing was under consideration. “Mini pedestrian boom barriers are no longer installed at upgraded pedestrian crossing sites,” he said. “The Ferguson Street pedestrian crossing has been identified on a priority list of about a dozen crossings across Melbourne for an upgrade.

“VicTrack is proposing that such sites will have safety gates and emergency gates with safety latches installed. Approval of the sites for upgrade is now being considered by the railway safety committee.

“Metro’s approval is also required.”

Williamstown MP Wade Noonan said the government was clearly looking to close the underpass.

“I’m appalled that there has been no funding set aside to upgrade pedestrian safety on the station side of the railway crossing. I fear we will wake up one morning and the underpass will have been filled in because VicTrack refuses to consult with the community. The solution would be to add a small pedestrian boom gate on the at-grade crossing and keep the underpass open.”