Safety being compromised at dodgy crossing

Motorists lives are being put at risk at a malfunctioning level crossing in Panmure, Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell says.

Residents have reported the lights, bells and boom gates at the Heath Marsh Road level crossing in Panmure are often stuck down for hours on end, several times a month and has been going on for many months.

Mrs Britnell said the location meant it was difficult for vehicles to turn around, meaning many will navigate around the boom gates and through the crossing.

“It’s not the right thing or the safe thing to do, but when the gates are stuck down for hours on end there are few other options,” Mrs Britnell said.

“I’ve spoken with several residents who told me the biggest fear is that one day the gates will be down for the right reason and someone who is so used to the crossing malfunctioning will navigate their way through, ending in tragedy.”

Mrs Britnell raised the matter in Parliament last week and has also written to Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan about the issue.

“I am told that it often takes several hours for crews to respond, but if the boom gates are stuck down on a weekend, it can be days before someone is sent to fix the problem,” Mrs Britnell said.

“It seems odd to me that there were concerns about several levels crossings along the Warrnambool line and an upgrade program was rapidly rolled out, but this one, with continual problems and potential to be a major safety risk, receives a Band-Aid approach to repairs and seemingly no permanently fix for this problem.

“While the government continues to focus on removing level crossings in the city, country people are left with dodgy, malfunctioning warning signals that may end up costing someone their life.”

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