Promised Cootamundra crossing upgrade derailed

NSW Nationals

Nationals Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke is demanding answers from the NSW Labor Government over why work is yet to commence on a major level crossing upgrade in the area.

Ms Cooke said an upgrade of the level crossing on Goldfields Way near Junee was due for completion at the end of 2023, but nothing has been done to improve the crossing, which remains a safety risk.

“The level crossing on Goldfields Way – which is located on a busy highway in the heart of the Riverina – has long been a concern for locals who, 12 months ago, were promised a complete safety overhaul of this site,” Ms Cooke said.

“Residents were led to believe work would soon get underway on the installation of high-intensity LED flashing lights, bells, and retro-reflective boom gates.

“But as of today, nothing has been done. The NSW Labor Government and Transport for New South Wales have clearly been dragging their feet when it comes to implementing potentially life-saving upgrades to our road and rail networks. It seems their priorities lie elsewhere.

“Not only are they behind schedule on this project but calls for upgrades to the level crossing just up the line on Canola Way have fallen on deaf ears.”

Ms Cooke said less than 12 months ago, the Canola Way crossing was the site of a major collision between a truck and a train.

“The crossing is located on a sharp ‘S’ bend and presents considerable safety risks. While more warning signs have been erected, clearly more needs to be done to improve safety at the Canola Way level crossing.

“Whether it’s local residents on the school or grocery run, heavy freight operators transporting goods in and out of the area, our farmers moving stock, or those on board the trains, we need a greater focus and more investment on keeping people safe at level crossings; alarmingly though it appears the NSW Labor Government has no clue, no idea, and is nowhere to be seen on this.

“I’m calling on the Regional Transport Minister to visit the region and see for herself the issues that continue to plague these crossings, to make the safety of our communities a top priority for 2024, and to immediately start work on upgrading these level crossings,” Ms Cooke said.

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