Bus steps in for VIC

A new level crossing removal started this week with more strain placed on VIC bus network

Buses will replace trains in Melbourne’s east for the rest of this month as the level crossing at St Albans station is removed.

The Sunbury line crossing is one of the first to be removed as it holds up some of Melbourne’s busiest bus services, with about 20,000 vehicles using the Main Rd corridor each day.

The Victorian Government is on a mission to remove 50 rail level crossings that clog Melbourne’s suburban roads, as traffic piles up and drivers wait for the frequent rail services to pass.

"This level crossing has claimed lives and continues to put people at risk," Victorian premiere Daniel Andrews says.

"Main Road level crossing is one of 50 we will remove over the next eight years to save lives, reduce road congestion and run more trains."

The $222.9 million removal of Main Rd level crossing is jointly funded by the Victorian and Federal Governments, with the Federal Government contributing $151 million.

It is part of a $480 million package, which also includes the removal of level crossings at Heatherdale Rd in Mitcham, Blackburn Rd in Blackburn and Burke Rd in Malvern which are also underway this month, with buses replacing trains on several lines in the eastern suburbs.

Bus Association Victoria (BusVic) executive director Chris Lowe has previously expressed concern there is major demand for rail replacement buses but a lack of spare buses available to support rail, and continues to call on the Victorian Government to address this by committing to invest in more to boost the capacity of Melbourne’s bus network.

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