Surrey Hills and Mont Albert level crossing removals
The Surrey Hills and Mont Albert Level Crossing Removal Project was announced in December 2018.
This project provides an excellent opportunity to build the section of the Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail connecting Box Hill with the Anniversary Trail in Camberwell, following the route of the railway line utilising where possible available land in the rail corridor.
The Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail Coalition is asking for the section from Box Hill to the Anniversary Trail to be constructed.
The shared pedestrian and bike path recently constructed at Bayswater Station is a good example what can be provided at Mont Albert Road and Union Road.
"Building a better Box Hill"
The Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail will provide an additional access route to Box Hill's busy centre for a very low capital outlay compared to the cost of road infrastructure.
This video shows some major problems with the Box Hill to Ringwood shared path crossing at Springvale Road - cyclists and pedestrians wait 1m 40s to cross. There is also heavy traffic and very close proximity to vehicles.
By contrast, cyclists and pedestrians travel safely and quickly under Blackburn Road using an underpass.
The proposed LXRP shared path route is then ridden, highlighting its deficiencies.
If you haven't already done so, please contact Paul Hamer MP to let him know you would like a better, safer, more direct route for the shared path to be built by the Surrey Hills LXRP including:
Underpasses (or overpasses) at Mont Albert Road and Union Road
A more direct route following the rail trench, elevated where necessary.
We have provided input to the Surrey Hills and Mont Albert Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP) on the section of the Hawthorn to Box Hill trail they will construct from Mont Albert to Surrey Hills.
Unfortunately, the project has advised that a providing a better shared path for pedestrians and cyclists (e.g. a more direct route with no pedestrian crossings at Union & Mont Albert Roads) is outside of the project scope.
Here is a drawing of how the shared should be constructed.
This letter has been sent to Paul Hamer MP, Jacinta Allan (Minister for Transport Infrastructure), Ben Carroll (Minister for Roads and Road Safety) and Whitehorse and Boroondara Mayors requesting a scope change and more funds to get a better and safer shared path constructed as per the route shown above.
You can get more information about the opportunity for a better shared path outcome in this presentation.
Please contact your local MPs and Councillors to ask for better shared path to be constructed by the LXRP, this is an opportunity that should not be missed.
It is important that they are aware of the very strong community demand for a shared path that will be safer, more direct, efficient and appealing to pedestrians and cyclists of all ages and abilities, including young and novice riders, wheel-chair users, mobility scooters, bikes with child trailers and tandems.
February 2021. Boroondara Bicycle Users Group (BBUG) has provided [this submission] to the Surrey Hills and Mont Albert design feedback survey (closing date for submissions is 14 Feb 2021). Recommendations include:
Underpasses are required at Union Road and Mont Albert Road for the Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail (shared path) to provide safety for path users and less disruption to traffic
The shared path should cross above the railway line to the west of the new premium station to align with the Department of Transport recommended route for the Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail.
The shared path route should be safer, more direct, efficient and appealing to users of all ages and abilities, including wheel-chair users, mobility scooters, bikes with child trailers and tandems
Overpasses are required for the shared path at Elgar Road and Canterbury Road
Additional covered bike parking should be provided close to the new premium station entrance
More open space and community connections would be provided by covering the rail trench
December 2020. Plans released for a new priority railway station to replace both Surrey Hills and Mont Albert stations. The new stations would be located between them. A shared path for bikes and pedestrians is included in the drawings.
However, the path is shown crossing busy Mont Albert Road and Union Roads at street level at a pedestrian crossing. This would disrupt traffic on both roads (as the railway crossings currently do) and involve long wait times for pedestrians and bike to cross. There are also safety concerns for pedestrians and bikes.
The best solution is to provide underpasses for the shared path at both Mont Albert and Union Roads as has been done at Blackburn Road.
June 2020. Over 900 people have signed this petition to the Mayors of Boroondara and Whitehorse asking their Councils to provide their full support to the Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail.
May 2020. The Department of Transport is conducting a feasibility study for the Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail with $370,000 funds allocated following the petition to the Victorian parliament.
27 May 2019. Paul Hamer MP announced that $370,000 funds have been allocated for planning the Hawthorn to Box Hill shared
1 Aug 2019. Geotechnical investigations are in progress for the Surrey Hills and Mont Albert level crossing removal project.
Provide input to the Surrey Hills and Mont Albert design feedback survey - you could note that providing underpasses for the shared path at both Mont Albert and Union Roads will provide the following benefits:
Less disruption to traffic
Better and safer access for pedestrians to access the railway station entrances from both Surrey Hills and Mont Albert
Safe transit and no wait times for cyclists and path users on the Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail
You can read more about the Surrey Hills and Mont Albert level crossing removal project [here]
Contact your local State MP to ask for the Surrey Hills and Mont Albert level crossing removal project to provide a shared path for pedestrians and cyclists from Box Hill to the Anniversary Trial at East Camberwell, with underpasses at Mont Albert Road and Union Road.
Contact all your local councillors and ask them to support the Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail. Here is a sample letter that includes email addresses for all councillors on both Boroondara and Whitehorse Councils [Word version]
Union Road, Surrey Hills | Level Crossing Removal Project
Mont Albert Road, Mont Albert | Level Crossing Removal Project