On 2 December 2020, the Victorian State Government announced plans to fast track the removal of the level crossing at Union Road, Surrey Hills. This announcement was welcome news, as this dangerous level crossing was the site of a tragic double fatality in 2016.

The level crossing at Mont Albert Road, Mont Albert within the City of Whitehorse will also be removed at the same time. The new rail line will be constructed in a trench and a single premium train station combining both the existing Surrey Hills and Mont Albert stations will be built.

The consolidated station will be located approximately 160 metres east of the existing Surrey Hills station. Car parking at Surrey Hills will be retained and a new space is also proposed on VicTrack land interfacing with Union Road. Given Council does not own this land, we will continue to advocate to the Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP) for a public space that enhances the environment, neighbourhood character and meets community needs.

Status

After receiving some feedback from the community, the LXRP released an updated design.

The updated design includes:

  • a new station entrance on Montrose Street in Surrey Hills
  • a new plaza and pedestrian bridge at Hamilton Street in Mont Albert, which has kept the heritage Mont Albert train station building.

The LXRP's designs for the new open space at Union Road haven't been finalised.

Community consultation

We want to hear what’s important to you and what key design features you'd like the LXRP to consider for the new open space. This includes:

  • how you would like to use this new open space
  • what new or improved facilities you would like
  • how you would like the streetscape improved
  • how you would like walking and riding paths improved.

Your feedback will help us develop an Urban Design Framework. This framework is a collection of the community’s ideas that we will give to the LXRP for it to consider. This will help make sure your preferences are heard and met.

Based on what we've already heard from our community, we’re presenting you with concepts to help us understand what's most important to you. These are only initial ideas. You can view our concepts at Engage Boroondara

The consultation closed on Tuesday 28 September 2021.

Community consultation to-date

The LXRP has already completed the following community consultations for the project:

  • 2 December 2020 to 14 February 2021: Consultation about the proposed design for the station and precinct and the planning approvals for the project. The LXRP also asked for expressions of interest for its Community Reference Group (CRG).
  • 14 June to 6 August 2021: Consultation on the updated precinct design drawings of the new station and surrounding areas, including Lorne Parade Reserve and Union Road in Surrey Hills. 

For more information and access to the consultation documents and plans, please visit the Engage Victoria website.

Timeline

Date Activity
2 December 2020

Victorian Government announces plans to fast track the removal of the Union Road, Surrey Hills and Mont Albert Road, Mont Albert level crossings.

Community consultation opens.

Invitations to nominate for the Community Reference Group issued.

21 January 2021 The Premier declares and gazettes the Union Road and Mont Albert Road level crossing removal project under the Major Transport Projects Facilitation Act (2009).
8 February 2021 Council endorses a submission to the LXRP and Minister for Planning about the project.
14 February 2021

Community consultation closes for the design and local business surveys.

Community Reference Group nominations close.

28 February 2021 Community consultation closes for the planning approvals survey.
30 March 2021 The LXRP advise they will not require the Canterbury Sports Ground for project purposes and will remove it from the project area.
Early 2021 Site investigations, including geotechnical testing commence.
14 June 2021 LXRP releases updated station and precinct designs.
14 June to 6 August 2021 LXRP led community consultation on the updated station and precinct designs.
4 July 2021 Minister for Planning approves the project boundary and formally removes the Canterbury Sports Ground from the project boundary.
Mid 2021 Early works and utility relocations scheduled to commence.
8 September to 28 September 2021 Council led a community consultation to help inform our draft Urban Design Framework. We will encourage the LXRP to include this in their designs for the new open space at Union Road.
October 2021 Council-led community consultation scheduled to take place asking for feedback on our draft Urban Design Framework. 
2022 Major construction scheduled to start.
2023 Boom gates scheduled to be removed.

Key concerns and opportunities

A Council endorsed submission was presented to the Minister for Planning and Environment and the LXRP in February 2021.  
Our key concerns and opportunities in our submission included:

  • Ensuring the LXRP truly engages with residents, businesses, sports clubs, the community and Council to deliver a best for community outcome.
  • Minimising impacts on residents, local businesses, sports clubs and the community during construction.
  • Removing the Canterbury Sports Ground from the Planning Project Boundary.
  • Capping the trench to provide connectivity across the north and south sides of the rail line at Union Road.
  • Delivering high quality walking and cycling infrastructure as part of the proposed Box Hill to Hawthorn trail.
  • Ensuring the station and precinct enhances the leafy green environment and sensitively responds to the architecture of Surrey Hills.
  • Linking the new station with the shops and businesses along Union Road.

Council’s ongoing role in this project

We will:

  • Continue to meet regularly with the LXRP to advocate on behalf of our community.
  • Continue to work with the community and share their concerns and ideas with the LXRP.
  • Endeavour to ensure the interests of our community are protected and construction impacts are minimised where possible.

More information

More information about the level crossing removal at Union Road is available on the LXRP website.

For more information contact Clare Davey, Senior Coordinator Transport Advocacy, at [email protected]

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