Member for Bathurst, Paul Toole MP is calling on the Federal and NSW Labor Governments to work together immediately to provide major upgrades to railway crossings across NSW.
The upgrades needed are about improving railway crossing safety in regional areas and reduce serious and fatal accidents that have a devastating impact on communities.
These upgrades should include installation of the latest technology and safety equipment such as retro-reflective boom gates, audible warning devices, updated signage and LED flashing lights increasing the visibility of crossings on both sides of the roadway in response to approaching trains.
Over the past 13 years there have been more than 80 collisions involving trains and vehicles at level crossings in NSW alone.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole has said this should be a priority for the Government.
“The Labor Government needs to look at improving railway crossings across regional areas before someone else dies,” Mr Toole said.
“Its time for the west to get its fair share of investment from the Government. I call on NSW and Federal Labor Governments to take some action immediately.
“Wherever you travel across the west, be it Taree, Parkes, Molong, Forbes or Wellington, there are rail crossings simply not up to standard.”
Mr Toole said “The need for these improvements has become increasingly evident, given the growing volume of rail and road traffic and the critical role that railways play in the state's economy.”
“Railway crossings are vital, however the current state of many crossings in New South Wales falls short of the safety standards required for a modern and rapidly evolving transportation landscape.”
Mr Toole claims that aging infrastructure, limited visibility, and outdated signalling systems are contributing to an increased risk of accidents and disruptions for both motorists and pedestrians and that the time for action is now.”
Local truck drivers have joined the call agreeing that the current level crossings across Western NSW are not safe and not easy to be seen.
Owner of Morris Haulage Martin Morris has said his drivers have experienced many near misses.
“As truck drivers we complete thousands of kilometres every year across all parts of the state and one of our main concerns is the lack of signals or safety around level crossings,” Mr Morris said.
“Level crossings particularly in Western NSW are in desperate need of upgrading so that everyone can travel safely and see what is ahead of them.”