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Author Topic: Ministerial Statement: QR releases eight priority level crossing upgrades ...  (Read 1378 times)

Offline ozbob

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Minister for Transport, Trade, Employment and Industrial Relations
The Honourable John Mickel
09/01/2009

QR releases eight priority level crossing upgrades in North Queensland

QR today released details of eight priority level crossing upgrades for North Queensland that have been recommended by the QR Level Crossing Task Force.

Detailed planning for work at the eight sites will begin next week under a $10 million funding package. This work will involve liaison with key parties including the Main Roads Department, Queensland Transport and the respective local authorities.

The Task Force was formed by QR last month to consider level crossing safety risks in North Queensland following the tragic level crossing accident near Cardwell in late November in which two train drivers died. It includes safety and operational experts, train drivers and rail unions.

Transport Minister John Mickel welcomed the Task Force report on the eight priority sites in North Queensland, saying it gives current rail safety measures a real and immediate boost.

"The QR Task Force has undertaken more than 500 inspections of crossings in North Queensland over recent weeks as well as an intense round of consultation with key stakeholders such as road authorities, local councils, motoring groups and the heavy vehicle industry," he said.

"While we have seen a long-term 30 per cent decline in level crossing accidents over the past decade, we need to collectively tackle the disturbing recent increase in level crossing incidents especially in North Queensland.

"More than 80 per cent of accidents have occurred between Mackay and Cairns in the last 18 months.

"Six deaths have occurred since June 2008 - five of them in North Queensland ?- compared to a yearly average of two deaths and no deaths in the whole of the 2007."

Mr Mickel said the eight priority upgrades were:

1.Wainai Rd, Farleigh, near Mackay

2.Bruce Highway, Big Red, Bowen

3.Bruce Highway, Brandon

4.Bruce Highway, Rungoo near Cardwell

5.Bruce Highway, Conn, near Cardwell

6.Bruce Highway, Cardwell

7.Aerodrome Rd, Mundoo, near Innisfail

8.Garradunga Rd, Garradunga, north of Innisfail

The Task Force recommended that local committees should determine the type of additional safety protection provided at each of the identified crossings. These include such measures as boom gates; Active Advanced Warning; rumble strips; CCTV safety surveillance cameras; and sighting improvements.

QR Acting Chief Executive Officer Deborah O'Toole said QR had accepted the recommendations of the Task Force Report for the priority upgrades, which are in addition to an existing long-term $33 million program.

"The spate of recent accidents was a major concern for QR, especially for our train drivers and our passengers," Mrs O'Toole said.

"QR saw an urgent need for additional funding and the Task Force took account not only of engineering assessments but the views of frontline people and local communities.

"This work dovetails with the existing long-term level crossing upgrade program based on a nationally-accepted assessment process and supported by local committees including QR, Queensland Transport, Main Roads and the relevant road authority."

Mr Mickel said there was an overwhelming need for a collective approach on improving safety at rail level crossings - by rail, road and police authorities, by motorists and professional transport drivers and also local communities.

Mr Mickel said the work of the QR Taskforce in providing an overlay to level crossing safety assessments in North Queensland would now be extended to other parts of the state.

A pilot rollout of QR safety surveillance cameras will also continue during 2009 at selected crossings where multiple infringements and near misses have been reported, following a successful trial of the new camera technology in Brisbane in 2008.

QR is also lifting spending on existing driver awareness campaign to target road user behaviour at level crossings and is extending its community education program that last year reached 150,000 Queenslanders.

Mr Mickel said the government would give priority consideration to the Task Force recommendations for other statewide initiatives such as the lowering of the maximum speed limit at level crossings on major Queensland highways and the potential enforcement of traffic infringements with camera technology utilised to detect offences.

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Offline ozbob

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From Brisbanetimes click here!

Taskforce names black spot crossings

Quote
Taskforce names black spot crossings
January 9, 2009 - 5:07PM

A $10 million upgrade at level crossings is on the drawing board after three deaths at north Queensland crossings in two months.

A report from the Queensland Rail (QR) taskforce has called for immediate upgrades to eight level crossings, and planning is expected to begin next week.

The taskforce, which includes safety experts, train drivers and rail unions, was formed by QR last month after a tragic level-crossing accident near Cardwell in late November in which two train drivers died.

A truck driver, father of two Terry Brown, was also killed in a rail-crossing collision on New Year's Day at Mundoo, near Innisfail.

Transport Minister John Mickel says the report gives rail-safety measures (an) immediate boost.

"The QR taskforce has undertaken more than 500 inspections of crossings in north Queensland over recent weeks," Mr Mickel said.

"While we have seen a long-term 30 per cent decline in level-crossing accidents over the past decade, we need to collectively tackle the disturbing recent increase in level-crossing incidents especially in north Queensland."

QR acting chief executive officer Deborah O'Toole said QR had accepted the recommendations from the taskforce report for the priority upgrades, which were in addition to an existing long-term $33 million program.

"The spate of recent accidents was a major concern for QR, especially for our train drivers and our passengers," Ms O'Toole said.

Six deaths have occurred since June 2008, five of them in north Queensland.

More than 80 per cent of accidents have occurred between Mackay and Cairns in the past 18 months.

The taskforce also recommended that local committees should determine the safety protection for each crossing.

Safety measures include boom gates; active advanced warning; rumble strips; surveillance cameras; and sighting improvements.

The Transport Workers Union is also lobbying for safety upgrades.

"These safety initiatives can be implemented straight away," branch secretary Hughie Williams said.

"It would only take one day to erect a stop sign and lay down rumble strips.

"It is about time we stop talking and start making our roads and rail crossings safer."

AAP
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Offline ozbob

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QR releases eight priority level crossing upgrades in North Queensland
9 January 2009

QR today released details of eight priority level crossing upgrades for North Queensland that have been recommended by the QR Level Crossing Task Force.

Detailed planning for work at the eight sites will begin next week under a $10 million funding package. This work will involve liaison with key parties including the Main Roads Department, Queensland Transport and the respective local authorities.

Key documents:

QR Taskforce finalises locations
Level crossing fact sheet - January 2009
Level crossing taskforce report

Available here!
« Last Edit: January 10, 2009, 04:22:59 AM by ozbob »
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Offline ozbob

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Good actions.  Road speed restrictions, active advanced warning, rumble strips, better visibility, improved signs, lights and booms as appropriate, and cameras. 

Be interesting to see if the recommendation for buses to compulsory stop at unprotected crossings which came from the fatal Dalby school bus incident will be implemented ...

There was a quick survey done in Cairns during the week by the local paper at  a crossing, protected with only a stop sign.

In the space of 30 minutes about 25 vehicles drove straight through and failed stop.

Driver education and enforcement must be part of the package ...
« Last Edit: January 10, 2009, 04:24:20 AM by ozbob »
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