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AFTER overwhelming public pressure, Kingston Council has voted to formally oppose sky rail as an option along the Frankston railway line.
Councillor Geoff Gledhill put up the motion at the council meeting on Monday night. He said it was inspired by feedback from the local community.
“I started doorknocking ... I actually spoke to over 500 people, which is a meaningful sample size, about 92 per cent of the people didn’t want an elevated rail solution,” Cr Gledhill said.
“I really can’t support something that has such a detrimental effect on so many people.”
The council will now write to State Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allen, advising that it was “unable to support an elevated rail line as an option”.
No Sky Rail: Frankston Line member and spokesman Colin Monger said his group welcomed the decision.
More than a dozen No Sky Rail members attended the most recent council meeting on May 23, and stood at the back of the chamber holding signs and placards.
“It’s a definite victory that we’ve been formally acknowledged and represented,” Mr Monger said.
Cr Paul Peulich, who has previously asked the council to oppose sky rail, echoed Mr Monger’s sentiments.
“I would welcome statements from all of the local members of parliament and councillors who are not in attendance tonight, who won’t be able to vote, as to whether or not they support sky rail,” Cr Peulich said.
Cr Steve Staikos was the only councillor to vote against the motion.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate for this council to provide false hope or a position that may not be — in an engineering sense — achievable,” he said.
“On some of these level crossings the best option, if not sky rail, might be to leave it the way it is.”
Kingston Mayor Tamsin Bearsley said the council has “a very good working relationship with the Level Crossing Removal Authority”, and the move “will produce some really good results for the Frankston line”.
“They (the authority) know we want to continue to work cooperatively with them,” Cr Bearsley said.
“We’re hoping that they then bring to the table the other feasible options and that the elevated rail one gets left behind.”
The authority is holding further community consultation sessions in Kingston midyear.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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