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With 43,774 vehicles registered in Orange, more than one for every man, woman and child, it’s easy to see why there’s traffic problems all over the place and things could get worse when the East Fork overhead railway bridge is closed for widening.
There’s been a suggestion to re-open Franklin Road at Peisley Street to ease congestion there but there’s other closures that would help things if they were re-opened.
Margaret Street railway crossing was closed years ago because of a tragic accident with a train hitting a car and the railways didn’t want to fork out the money to install lights.
Locking the gates was the easiest and cheapest option but huge development since in the north, which includes Charles Sturt University, has snowballed and re-opening the crossing would save motorists lots of time, travel and frustration.
The council at one stage even offered to build a subway under the line at March Street to give better access but the Railways again put the kybosh on things and said it would only agree if the Byng Street crossing was closed.
Imagine the chaos that would have caused. Coming from the north in Peisley Street it’s an extra 600 metres from Margaret Street to Dalton Street to get across the line if you’re going out to, say, the university, and it’s 1.3 kilometres back to the crossing on the Leeds Parade side.
There’s mainly only the XPT running to Dubbo and back each day with a few goods trains now and then, unlike what it was years ago before the government put an axe into country railways.
So it’s an obvious option available to sort out some of our traffic problems if reopening Margaret Street was revisited.
This article first appeared on www.centralwesterndaily.com.au
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