“When it comes to the removal of open-level crossings, the state government is nothing if not consistent. Always promising, but never delivering.”
Cr McLachlan said the future looked bright for the removal of the dangerous open-level crossing because the federal and state governments committed money to plan the replacement overpass.
“Unfortunately the state government’s decision for the open-level crossing at the completion of the study is extremely underwhelming,” Cr McLachlan said.
“Instead of agreeing to upgrade the level crossing to deliver a crucial safety and congestion improvements that the community has been requesting for years, the state government has announced it will be spending $40 million only to undertake upgrades to the rail station precinct.”
A spokesman for Main Roads minister Mark Bailey said the project team would first make short-term improvements, including “improving local roads and installing traffic lights”.
He said that would include new lifts at a revamped Lindum station, which would take people over the dangerous open-level rail crossing.
In 2019, the federal government contributed $85 million towards the crossing and the council $40 million, “contingent on the state government budgeting for its removal”.
“The state government’s work will not fix the dangerous open-level crossing and we are yet to hear a clear plan from the state that actually will,” Cr McLachlan said.
“It’s a state asset, yet they are the only level of government that is not willing to invest in it.”
Mr Bailey’s spokesman said the state government would make improvements to the road network and the council would place traffic lights nearby, which was likely to reduce the traffic queueing at the open crossing.
The rail station, the changes to the park-and-ride and the new lifts are considered stage two works.
The need for a new overpass over a “localised village” precinct will be evaluated as future stage three works after the impact of new traffic lights, changes to the local road network and new lifts are evaluated.
Mr Bailey’s spokesman said the federal government agreed with the approach of making changes to the local road network and installing traffic lights, before moving to build an overpass.
Tony Moore is a senior reporter at the Brisbane Times