Upgrade to Upfield Bike path in Brunswick with Level Crossing Removal

Upfield Bike Path under Coburg Station, recently upgraded

The Premier has announced that the 8 level crossings in Brunswick will be removed between 2023 and 2027. This will entail an elevated track creating space underneath for a much improved Upfield Bike Path for cyclists and pedestrians and also community and recreational space.

The present Upfield Bike Path beside the Upfield Railway line is very narrow, and also suffers from congestion of cyclists and pedestrians, especially at peak times in the morning and evening.

From past level crossing removals on the Upfield Line the devil has always been in the detail.

Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP) failed to put in ANY cycling infrastructure as part of the Camp Road level crossing. In fact LXRP cemented cabling in the portion of the rail bridge across the M80 that would be nominally allocated for pedestrian and cycling use.

LXRP cemented cabling on pedestrian/cycling portion of M80 rail bridge for Camp Road LXR

The Bell to Moreland dedicated cycling path is certainly a great improvement, but had to be argued for by members of the community. The detours put in place by LXRP were significantly out of the way, involved more gradients, were more dangerous, and deterred some people from cycling for the two years of disruption.

The removal of level crossing boom gates will end the Upfield wave that cyclists often take advantage of in following trains along the line. It is important that several of the new crossings are prioritised for cycling and pedestrian traffic, similar to Munro Street and Reynard street crossings further north.

The following crossings are proposed for removal:

  • Albert Street, Brunswick
  • Albion Street, Brunswick
  • Brunswick Road, Brunswick
  • Dawson Street, Brunswick
  • Hope Street, Brunswick
  • Union Street, Brunswick
  • Victoria Street, Brunswick
  • Park Street, Parkville

Disruption to the Upfield line also provides a good opportunity to upgrade the line by doing the track duplication from Gowrie to Upfield.

The Upfield Transport Alliance has called on the Andrews Government to undertake track duplication concurrent with Brunswick level crossing removal.

The Upfield Bike Path should also be extended during track duplication work. That would then mean the Upfield Path would be a continuos shared use path from the Capital City Trail just south of Park Street, to Upfield Station at Barry Road in Dallas.

Lots of space in the rail easment for a bike path and a second rail track approaching Upfield.

Reference:

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