Belair line: boom gates fail again

Media Release - Thursday, 7 January 2016

Member for Davenport, Mr Sam Duluk MP, has had enough and is demanding urgent action from the Government to address the ongoing boom gate failures along the Belair Line.

On Tuesday 5 January, 2016 at approximately 3:15pm the boom gates at the Blackwood Station level crossing were once again stuck down, with police attending the scene to try and manage the resulting traffic chaos.

“In 2015 the year started with the Blackwood Station boom gates failing on January 2; twelve months later and it was a case of deja vu for local residents and commuters as they started their year once again with traffic gridlock. Mr Duluk said.

“Boom gates along the Belair Line have failed again and again, year after year. Failures occurred repeatedly last summer, including on the day of the Sampson Flat bushfire, and then throughout the year. The Weatherill Government must take immediate action and fix the level crossing”.

The Belair line was closed from midnight on Christmas Day until the first service on December 30 to attend to ‘essential maintenance’ upgrades along the line.

Although there is never an ideal time for line closures, Mr Duluk noted that “I think local residents and commuters accepted the short term inconvenience in anticipation that the maintenance work would deliver an improved service. It only took 5 days to find out it hasn’t.”

“I have continued to press the Government on upgrades to the level crossings along the Belair line. I have raised the issue in Parliament, written to the Minister for Transport, the Hon Stephen Mullighan MP, and met with the Rail Commissioner, Mr Michael Deegan. I had hoped the recent maintenance works would rectify the issue with the boom gates. It hasn’t and it is not good enough. It is time the Weatherill Government took the issue seriously, and it is time the Weatherill Government took the Mitcham Hills residents seriously.

“The Government must invest in infrastructure along the Belair Line. I am encouraging local residents to join me in requesting the Weatherill Government take urgent steps to improve the reliability of the boom gates along the Belair Line. They may also like to consider writing directly to the Premier and/or Minister for Transport to voice their concerns” Mr Duluk said

Jammed boom gates pose serious logistical issues in an emergency situation, as well as resulting in lost productivity from sitting idle waiting for the boom gates to open again.