Queensland UTC +10
Terms of use Privacy About us Media Contact

Links

Author Topic: 28 May 2017: Qld: Explore all options before closing Open Level Crossings ...  (Read 1288 times)

Online ozbob

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 71641
    • RAIL Back On Track


Media release 28th May 2017

Qld: Explore all options before closing Open Level Crossings through railway towns

RAIL Back On Track (http://backontrack.org) a web-based community support group for rail and public transport and an advocate for public transport passengers has called on Queensland Rail to be sensitive to local concerns as it pushes ahead with planned closures of Open Level Crossings on the regional rail network to ensure compliance with nationally-recognised safety standards.

Robert Dow, Spokesman for RAIL Back On Track said: “While safety should always be the number one priority for operating trains and managing tracks across the Queensland Rail network, all the alternatives need to be explored, including making existing crossings safer, before a unilateral decision is made to close at-grade paths over rails as the easiest option to make them safe.

“The practical consideration of working railway towns and how people access their railway station or get about, including where tracks bisect a community, needs to be thought through to ensure that closure of open pedestrian pathways don’t affect connectivity and the economy of towns where people still find it convenient to walk or cycle to where they want to go.

“The various state transport agencies should take care that their strategies do not conflict with each other – active transport initiatives and guidelines governing Transport Oriented Developments, as well as town plans and footpath grids. We have seen elsewhere the consequences of uncoordinated planning and actions between Transport and Main Roads (TMR) and Queensland Rail.

“This matter has come into sharp focus at Pomona (1), in the Noosa Hinterland, where a mid-town pedestrian pathway that has linked both sides of the town for more than 100 years is slated for closure by Queensland Rail, yet there has been no reported incidents of death or injury there for the past decade. A real opportunity exists to make the current pathway safer, linked to the proposed upgrading of the temporary railway station to a permanent structure. It represents a significant opportunity to unify the town and not divide it by sending people out of their way to cross the North Coast Line at the busiest traffic point in Pomona.

“By proposing to close a pedestrian and cycle pathway located some distance from a level crossing controlled by boom gates and pedestrian refuges, Queensland Rail and TMR need to be satisfied that users redirected to the alternative crossing point are not placed in greater risk of being struck by a car or truck.  Otherwise the precepts of the 10-year Queensland Level Crossing Safety Strategy 2012-2021, which Rail Back On Track supports, become self-defeating.”

Reference:

1. Don't Divide Pomona --> https://www.facebook.com/dontdividepomona/

Contact:

Robert Dow
Administration
admin@backontrack.org
RAIL Back On Track https://backontrack.org
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 02:15:59 AM by ozbob »
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
  Bob's Blog

Online ozbob

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 71641
    • RAIL Back On Track
Re: Qld: Explore all options before closing Open Level Crossings ...
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2017, 09:31:31 AM »

Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
  Bob's Blog

Offline wbj

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 113
Re: Qld: Explore all options before closing Open Level Crossings ...
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2017, 11:25:17 AM »
I agree.  Exacerbating the physical division of a community such as Pomona with reduced accessability would be tragic.  There doesn't need to be more encouragement to drive rather than walk by making walking routes more inconvenient.

Offline Stillwater

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5475

https://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/rail-path-closure-could-divide-coast-town/3185529

Online ozbob

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 71641
    • RAIL Back On Track
Sunshine Coast Daily --> Rail path closure could divide Coast town



Quote
GROUP of residents are fighting a Queensland Rail proposal they say will divide their coastal town.

Pomona man Brian O'Connor is leading the newly-formed Don't Divide Pomona group in an effort to avoid a railway pedestrian crossing being shut off.

The pathway runs between the Majestic Theatre and the Pomona Hotel, past the Pomona Railway Station.

"The pathway has served Pomona for more than 100 years and no one in town can recall a death or injury in the years it has operated,” Mr O'Connor said.

A Queensland Rail spokeswoman said the current pedestrian crossing would require a significant upgrade to ensure its compliance with national safety standards.

"In consultation with Noosa Council and the Department of Transport and Main Roads, we are investigating possible footpath and road crossing options to ensure pedestrians have a safe passage to the two other nearby formal crossings at Reserve St and Subway Ave,” the spokeswoman said.

She said Queensland Rail would conduct a number of consultation activities in the coming weeks.

"A letter, fact sheet, hard copy and online feedback form will be distributed to local businesses and residents in June.”

Petitions against the proposed closure have already been distributed to more than 10 Pomona businesses to collect signatures.

Mr O'Connor said Queensland Rail had been very cooperative in consulting the community about the new railway station but silent about the cross-town pathway.

"We see them as linked, as the railway station and its associated pathway are the lynchpin to the connectivity of what is a very walkable town,” he said.

"This will be lost if this proposal goes ahead.”

He said Queensland Rail's solution of diverting the pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders to the Reserve St crossing was not suitable.

"This is the busiest traffic point in town.

"The Reserve St crossing point has poor connectivity to the rest of the path network servicing the town.

"Someone arriving in Pomona by train will have to undertake a 600m detour to get to the town centre.”

He said the railway station crossing had overhead lighting, prominent warning signage, flashing yellow warning lights and a klaxon that sounded an audible warning.

Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
  Bob's Blog

Online ozbob

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 71641
    • RAIL Back On Track
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
  Bob's Blog

Online ozbob

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 71641
    • RAIL Back On Track
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
  Bob's Blog

Online ozbob

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 71641
    • RAIL Back On Track
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
  Bob's Blog

Online ozbob

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 71641
    • RAIL Back On Track
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
  Bob's Blog

Online ozbob

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 71641
    • RAIL Back On Track
https://twitter.com/Robert_Dow/status/873010733746864128
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
  Bob's Blog

Offline Stillwater

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5475
The dontdividepomona Facebook page is reporting that 1364 signatures have been obtained in protest against the closure of the path over the tracks at Pomona - not bad for a town of 2700 people!  The protest rally and march is to be held tomorrow.  It will be interesting to see how many locals turn up, given the enthusiasm with which they have signed the petition.

Offline Gazza

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4617
Why are they closing this, but Legeyt St stays open?

Online ozbob

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 71641
    • RAIL Back On Track
The dontdividepomona Facebook page is reporting that 1364 signatures have been obtained in protest against the closure of the path over the tracks at Pomona - not bad for a town of 2700 people!  The protest rally and march is to be held tomorrow.  It will be interesting to see how many locals turn up, given the enthusiasm with which they have signed the petition.

Please pass on our support and best wishes for a successful outcome!
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
  Bob's Blog

Offline Stillwater

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5475
Such a friendly little town – yet QR has got the locals marching to the streets – literally – over their stupid plans that people say will have adverse impacts on their safety.  Stop in have a coffee, take the history walk, just don’t mention QR.

https://www.facebook.com/dontdividepomona

Online ozbob

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 71641
    • RAIL Back On Track
https://twitter.com/Robert_Dow/status/876513079021797376

^

https://twitter.com/Robert_Dow/status/876515222151774208
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 05:01:55 AM by ozbob »
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
  Bob's Blog

Online ozbob

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 71641
    • RAIL Back On Track
https://twitter.com/7NewsSC/status/876967841433403392

^

https://twitter.com/Robert_Dow/status/877012693655343104
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
  Bob's Blog

Offline Stillwater

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5475
Today's Noosa News also pick up the story:

https://www.noosanews.com.au/news/pomona-sends-out-defiant-crossing-closure-message/3191521


Online ozbob

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 71641
    • RAIL Back On Track
Noosa News --> Pomona sends out defiant crossing closure message

Quote


UNITED BY DIVIDE: Pomona vented its anger at a QR plane to cut their town access in half on Saturday. Contributed

A MOVE by Queensland Rail to divide Pomona by closing a cross-town path that has served the community since 1911 has had the effect of uniting residents in determined defiance.

The normally sedate streets of the friendly village reverberated with chanting "Don't Divide Pomona!” on Saturday when 130 marchers, some on horseback, waved banners and placards protesting the planned closure of the pedestrian and cycle path linking the east and west sides of town across the railway tracks. It is the point where three of the walks on the Noosa Trail Network intersect.

QR has assessed the path as unsafe. Old-timers say they can't remember a death or any injury involving trains striking pedestrians or cyclists at the location. QR is resisting calls to provide the data on which its decision is based.

By the end of the day, the protesters had won a small concession. The CEO of QR, Mr Nick Easy, advised residents on May 18 "closure of this high-risk pedestrian crossing is the best way to eliminate safety risks”, meaning that a decision to close had been made. However, in a late email to rally organisers, a Queensland Rail spokesperson said QR was committed to understanding and considering the views of the community.

"We will be undertaking thorough consultation to better understand the impacts this crossing closure may have on those who use it, and to present options for alternative, safe crossing connections,” she said.

A decision to close the crossing would not now be made until the community consultation, to be held in mid-July, after the school holidays. The most passionate protester on the day was the youngest, three-year-old Myles Corcoran. Not yet able to read, he cried when his mother read him a newspaper story announcing that QR intended to close the railway footpath both use to access town. Mum explained that he no longer could accompany her on his bike, as she considered the alternative crossing dangerous.

A resolution passed unanimously at Saturday's rally in Joe Bazzo Park called upon QR to keep open the existing path via the railway station and to make it safer. Pomona residents also want State Government agencies and Noosa Council to develop a combined plan that ends bickering and blurred lines of responsibility for roads, footpaths and public spaces in town.

"We request that QR actively consider better utilisation of vacant land it controls, bounded by Factory and Reserve streets, including subdivision, to fund the necessary works and make available sites for new businesses. We expect silo thinking and cost-shifting to end, and tripartite co-operation to prevail so that our Pomona town centre can be revitalised.”
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
  Bob's Blog

Offline Stillwater

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5475
It seems Noosa Council is now on board, backing the community.

https://www.facebook.com/dontdividepomona

Online ozbob

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 71641
    • RAIL Back On Track
It seems Noosa Council is now on board, backing the community.

https://www.facebook.com/dontdividepomona

 :-t :-c
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
  Bob's Blog

Offline Stillwater

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5475
Wow, QR seems to have stirred up a hornet's nest in Pomona -- the little village that's fighting back!

https://www.facebook.com/dontdividepomona
« Last Edit: July 29, 2017, 04:21:18 PM by ozbob »

Offline Stillwater

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5475
On 10 August 2017, Mr Glen Elmes MP, the State Member for Noosa, raised the issue of the Pomona railway pedestrian crossing in the Queensland Parliament. Here is a transcript of what Mr Elmes said.
 
Mr ELMES (Noosa—LNP) (5.48 pm): “I rise tonight to register my support for the community of Pomona, who strongly reject plans by Queensland Rail to potentially close Pomona’s railway foot crossing, a crossing that has connected the town for more than 100 years. On Tuesday I submitted the ‘Don’t Divide Pomona’ petition, which has been signed by 1,498 residents—more than half the country town’s population—sending the message loud and clear to Queensland Rail that their pedestrian crossing must be retained. The foot crossing connects the community with the main street where residents work, shop, dine and connect. It is located where it is because it evolved from a logical access and the natural flow of daily local life.
 
“In 100 years there has not been an accident or an injury at the crossing. Given the role the crossing plays in ensuring Pomona’s social cohesion and economic prosperity, it is not surprising that the community came together in protest. In June I joined with 140 locals in support of the retention of the existing crossing. A Facebook group was created, a petition launched, meetings were held and soon the words ‘Don’t Divide Pomona’ were on everyone’s lips. In Queensland Rail’s first hour of community consultation last Saturday, 70 people arrived to express their concerns. Queensland Rail has suggested an alternative crossing could be at the far end of town where money was wasted on an existing vehicle crossing a few years ago. This is not a viable or safe option and would achieve a chaotic and dangerous convergence of pedestrians, cyclists, mothers with prams, dog walkers and horse riders mixing with cars and trucks, without any paths connecting and providing a safe corridor for any of them.
 
“As I know—and as the hardworking member for Gympie, Tony Perrett, also knows—it appears that Queensland Rail may have been overlooking some other serious threats to safety at this station. I table photographs of the current state of disrepair of the temporary makeshift structure that is the Pomona railway station and platform.”
 
(Tabled paper: Photographs depicting temporary railway station platform. http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/tableOffice/TabledPapers/2017/5517T1312.pdf)
 
“The cheap timber decking precariously sits on rusting scaffolding, and where it is rotten through yellow crosses warn pedestrians to keep clear. There are a number of safety challenges seriously threatening the department’s public liability which can be addressed by way of a planned approach to the site’s upgrade and funded from the sale of the adjacent vacant land—once home to the old goods yard—to appropriate commercial interests. This approach would address a raft of safety concerns, open up more opportunities for job creation and revitalise the community instead of dividing it. I urge the minister to direct her department to listen and work with the community—not to divide Pomona.”
« Last Edit: August 17, 2017, 08:37:03 AM by Stillwater »

Offline Stillwater

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5475
Public submissions closed on 14 August.  The people of Pomona pass the time awaiting QR's decision about their cross-town path.



Offline Stillwater

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5475
Re: 28 May 2017: Qld: Explore all options before closing Open Level Crossings ...
« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2017, 04:37:54 AM »
Queensland Rail has informed the residents of Pomona that it is "preparing a report to reflect the issues raised, and the views shared, during the consultation period."  It would appear that closure of the pedestrian path across the tracks via the railway station still remains an option.

In an email to respondents, the QR Level Crossing Compliance project team said:

QR is committed to working with the community to find a solution which balances the need for safety and the desire to provide a crossing that meets the towns requirements, now and into the future.

It anticipates that a decision on the future of the Pomona pedestrian crossing will be made before the end of the year.

Pomona is due to get a new railway station next year.

Offline Stillwater

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5475
The Member for Noosa, Glen Elmes, put the argument well in this speech to the Queensland Parliament:

« Last Edit: October 13, 2017, 02:04:53 AM by ozbob »

 

Sitemap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 


“You can't understand a city without using its public transportation system.” -- Erol Ozan