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BRIMBANK residents are fighting to suspend Regional Rail Link works between Deer Park and Sunshine stations with fears the upgrade will lead to an increase in traffic, noise and air pollution.
The Residents Rail Action Group will rally to postpone construction works on the railway track until they believe the Regional Rail Link Authority (RRLA) has addressed their concerns about the impact the project will have on the community.
Brimbank resident Ruth O’Reilly said the project would see a train travel through Ardeer and Deer Park stations every three minutes during peak time, and traffic would grind to a halt around Fitzgerald and Station roads.
“We’re all for the Regional Rail Link but it shouldn’t be at the expense of this neighbourhood,” Ms Reilly said.
“It shouldn’t be at the detriment of the people that you’re running it through. Don’t wipe your boots on us as you pass through.”
Resident Maurice Sibelle said the RRLA is aware that noise levels in the area would be above the acceptable threshold according to the government’s noise policy and that traffic congestion at level crossing near the stations would become unbearable.
“The project is being rushed. This is crazy when they are building a rail line for the next 100 years,” Mr Sibelle said.
“The RRLA are saying that these issues will be addressed once the rail line is built. We say it should be built properly in the first place.”
The Residents Rail Action Group has called for better noise protection, proper fencing, a grade separation at Fitzgerald and Station Rd and the electrification of the Melton and Geelong railway lines.
A spokesperson for the RRL told Star a range of environmental investigations and assessments took place during the planning stage of the Regional Rail Link.
“As Regional Rail Link progresses, the project will continue to comply with all relevant environmental legislation, standards and guidelines, including those on noise,” the spokesperson said.
She said continuous welded rail and concrete sleepers are being used in the construction of the Regional Rail Link to help reduce noise from train tracks.
The spokesperson also said air quality assessment gave no indication that the additional train services that will run when project is complete will have a significant effect on air quality.
“Air quality assessments will continue to be carried out as required and appropriate measures will be implemented if necessary.”
The RRL spokesperson said the electrification of the Sunbury line would reduce the number of diesel trains running on the metropolitan transport corridor and similar plans are being considered for the Melton corridor.
The Fix the Links rally will take place from 1pm on Saturday 20 October at Ardeer Railway Station.
For more information visit http://www.fixregionallraillink.blogspot.com.au
This article first appeared on www.starnewsgroup.com.au
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