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A notorious Hampton rail crossing where a woman was killed last month had been promised gates and sirens — but Public Transport Victoria reneged on works just months before her tragic death.
The public transport authority has been slammed after the death of 83-year-old Hampton grandmother Gloria Holmes, who was struck by a train while walking her dog across the Grenville St rail crossing on April 15.
Neighbours have long called for safety upgrades at the crossing, prompting PTV to identify it as “one of nine high-risk pedestrian crossings planned to be upgraded...in 2017/18”.
Gloria Holmes died when hit by a train while walking her dog.But, in a letter seen by the Bayside Leader, the authority wrote to neighbours in November stating: “A sudden change in the risk profile of certain level crossings in Victoria required other crossings be prioritised”.
Julie Smerdon, of Grenville St, said she had witnessed three other deaths at the crossing since moving to the area in 1982.
Ms Smerdon said the authority’s response was “sickening”.
She said Ms Holmes’ death could have been avoided if gates or sirens had been installed as promised as they would have made it “impossible to cross there when a train is approaching”.
“These are just the deaths I know about and the crossing has been a constant worry my whole life,” Ms Smerdon said.
“This is not going to be the last death there; the town is swelling with people and this is one of the only crossings to get to the beach so lots of people use it in summer.
“You also get lots of (school students) from Orlando St coming across to St Mary’s and Hampton Primary School, so it’s a worry for the kids too.”
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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