State and local government are working to improve rail crossing safety in Bayswater, following a close shave at Caledonian Avenue two months ago.
A man in his 80s escaped uninjured after his car was hit by a train at the Maylands rail crossing in April.
The train clipped the rear of his car and spun it 90 degrees.
The man had reportedly driven around the barrier by accident.
This week, Bayswater city council appointed a road manager to liase with the public transport authority and WA Main Roads to manage safety at the Caledonian Avenue and Moojebing Street rail crossings.
An audit of Bayswater crossings undertaken by the PTA this year revealed two “minor issues”.
“A rail crossing ahead sign was obscured by tree branches at the Caledonian crossing, which has since been pruned,” says mayor Terry Kenyon.
“A portion of road surface was undulating at the Moojebing rail crossing, which is programmed to be rectified in July.”
Cr Kenyon adds the formal agreement will improve safety, clarifying who’s responsible for different sections of the crossing.
Cr Chris Cornish says he’d like to remove the Caledonian crossing altogether: “Ideally I would like to see an underpass instead of a rail crossing as this would not only alleviate traffic congestion on the 3rd and 7th Avenue bridges, but would also make our roads safer.”
Cr Sonia Turkington says the Caledonian crossing is fed traffic from the busy Railway Parade and Whatley Crescent.
“There is also a major bike and pedestrian path which crosses the intersection as well, so motorists need to be extremely alert,” she says.
“It can be very confusing for the road and footpath users, so I hope a safer system is developed.”
The road manager’s duties will include reporting damage, maintaining road surface and line of sight, and advise of removal of vegetation or spraying programs at the crossings.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK