Dear Minister X,
I support the removal of the Level Crossings. However, I have an issue with the way it is to be done. The proposed “Hybrid Solution” at Seaford Road (which is an elevated solution) I consider substandard.
On Sunday 23rd July we held a Rally in Seaford, with more than 300 people protesting against elevated rail. The rally has been mentioned in Herald Sun and covered by 7 News. Two of the rally speakers were Frankston City Councilors, supporting the community.
Rail under Road at Seaford Road is possible. No Skyrail Frankston Line (NSRFL) have designs that prove Rail under Road (such as Bentleigh, Ormond, and McKinnon) is viable without impacting the Seaford Edithvale Wetlands. Water table issues can be dealt with using some smart engineering (eg. road tunnel at Safety Beach.) The Seaford Edithvale wetlands and Kananook Creek are currently being artificially managed.The engineering is already in place to mitigate against any impact.
Why has there been no feasibility study of a rail under road solution at Seaford Rd? Why has there been no investigation of the health impact from the spreading of carcinogenic diesel particulates and metal dust from raised railways? These particulates will become airborne and spread across the wider community.
The overshadowing simulations show the elevated rail will cast shadows for hundreds of metres in the morning and in the afternoon. Lack of sunlight is linked to depression. It limits the harvest of solar power from peoples roofs. It robs the community of a basic amenity, sunlight.
The noise will be heard for many kilometres. The ineffectual sound barriers will add height over and above the track.
Property prices will plummet, which will in effect cut council rates. No funding arrangement has been presented for the maintenance of the embankments and the inevitable graffiti removal.
I also have an issue with the railway storage facility that is planned to be moved from Carrum to Seaford. It is unnecessary with plans for the electrification of the line to Baxter in the future.Do it once and do it right and have the railway storage facility placed on now empty land in Baxter. A railway storage facility in Seaford would displace seven businesses and cost our community over 100 jobs. Most of these businesses have been there for over forty years. Page Brothers alone have been there for fifty years and employ fifty people. Imagine how many jobs these businesses have provided over the years. Where is the loyalty? How much recompense will these businesses get for capital expenditures?
The site is much bigger than the railway storage facility currently in Carrum. Are the residents to expect train after the train travelling to the storage facility late at night as the services wind down? Then the shunting after they arrive at the storage facility, late into the night.
The closure of Eel Race Road (ERR) will cause traffic chaos in Armstrongs Road, McLeod Road, and Nepean Hwy. There is no dispute that this level crossing should be removed, by rail under road. Closing this crossing will create the very traffic congestion that this project was meant to decrease. Patterson Lakes Secondary College and various primary schools in this area are accessed via ERR crossing. Replace it with rail under road. Do it once, do it right.
I look forward to your response