Here we go again…on the Hills Line

After residents along Arundel Avenue Millswood have had to fight and still are for a return to the privacy they once enjoyed from idling trains on the Belair line we now find residents further up the line have a similar concern.

With the re-opening of Millswood Rail Station and the removal of vegetation the same issue is now challenging their neighbours further south, those whose houses front the Millswood Station.

Emmie Dowling has a storey in the Eastern Courier concerning this latest development.

This is a timely reminder that there are still a number of outstanding issues on both this and the Seaford lines which the Government & DPTI have yet to address.

Emmie’s article suggests that DPTI will be addressing this issue. Those waiting for resolutions elsewhere along both lines will watch this with interest.

How does the State Governments Strategic Traffic Policy affect you?

Are you aware the State Government released its ‘Integrated Transport and Land Use Plan’ on the 21 October 2013.  

If you live, work or play in South Australia but more importantly use the roads of Adelaide and beyond, whether you use car or public transport you need to be aware of what the Governments plans for our future transport are. They complement the recent 30 Year Plan they put before the public with wide ranging reactions.
This is a comprehensive plan, albeit only in concept form. And make no mistake it is a plan that will impact significantly on the suburbs of the City of Unley.
It includes, of interest to Unley residents:
ü  A new tram route down Unley Road.
ü  Continuing the development of bikeways and walkways through Unley and including completing the Greenways Program.
ü  The electrification of the Tonsley train line linked to a new 600 space park and ride facility. Upgraded rail stations and increased park and ride car spaces.
ü  Increased train service frequencies, meaning less waiting time for the commuters of the western suburbs of Unley.
ü  Increased secure bike parking at rail stations and opportunities for bike sharing through the Metrocard system.
ü  A potential underground city train link to improve accessibility, with four new CBD stations in the longer term, meaning it  is one I may not get to see
ü  The creation of Inner and Outer Ring Routes around the City. On the south side of the City this includes Greenhill Road (Inner) and Cross Road (outer), and obviously South Road.
ü  Driving from Gawler to Old Noarlunga on what will be Adelaide’s non-stop North-South Corridor.
ü  The redirection of heavy (double B) road transport from Glen Osmond Road down Cross Road instead to South Road.
There will be a number of positives for the residents of the western suburbs of the City of Unley who I am focusing on here. There will also be a number of challenges as I see it.
Those boarding trains at Emerson and Clarence Park stations will board electric trains, not what I expect in the near future will be the Diesels. This hopefully may reduce the incidence of rat running down East Avenue, Leigh Street and Goodwood Road.
We can do with the upgrading of the Emerson, Clarence Park & Goodwood Stations. Less waiting time means we inner suburban commuters can expect to get into town sooner, making public transport an easier choice to make.
Increasing park and ride car spaces further down the rail line including 600 spaces at Tonlsey hopefully will reduce the rat runners using East Avenue and Leigh Street or Goodwood Road.
Of real interest and what could prove challenging will be the establishment of the outer ring route of Cross and South Roads. This will enable the redirecting of the B doubles away from Glen Osmond Road, a bonus for those in the east of Adelaide but a challenge I suspect for those in the west.
A non-stop north south corridor, when coupled with the increased train services noted above and the introduction of B Doubles will have a tendency to grid lock the suburbs of Black Forest, Clarence Park & Millswood.
This will really help to get those southern rat runners off our suburban streets. It may mean that some of us living in these suburbs, and in particular the suburb of Black Forest may have to find other ways of accessing and egressing from our suburb to get on to those transport corridors or back home.
Non-stop as I see it means non-stop and therefore cars will no long have to wait for others to turn onto a suburban street
And from what I can see directing the B doubles past the Freight line on Cross road and directing them onto South Road will be a challenge for the Government. The freight line remaining there is, is surely a major obstacle to using this route and prompts one to ask yet again, why don’t you Mr Government take the freight rain through Truro.

The plan can be obtained from their website at the following link

Belair Line Closes back Down

With works on the Noarlunga line meandering I have been wondering and I’ll bet you have too if the line will be functional by the latest date for trains to be running again, namely 23 September, which is but a week away.

This storey, courtesy of Jessica Haynes of the Mitcham & Hills Messenger, increases the anxiety as to when this thing will be finished.

THE Belair rail line will be closed for overnight works for two weeks from Monday, September 16.
The line will be closed during the week between 10pm and 5.30am to Friday, September 27.
Weekend line closures will occur on Saturday, September 28 and Sunday, September 29, 6pm to 8am.
A bus substitute between Adelaide and Belair will be available on the weekend services.
Services are expected to return to normal on Monday, September 30.
The closures are needed as part of the works to electrify the Noarlunga line.
A Transport Department statement released today said there would be more evening off-peak restrictions and weekend line closures in the coming months for electrification works.

A Chance to get the freight trains diverted

The Federal Election gives residents along the ARTC line a great opportunity to push for a commitment from the candidates for the local seat to push their party, if they gain power to re-investigate the plausibility of diverting the freight trains through Truro.

Residents along the Belair corridor have a unique opportunity to push the candidates who are looking to be their representatives to move the freight train away from Mitcham and Unley council areas.

The previous report I was told earlier this year by Kate Ellis simply was not cost effective. Many have challenged this since that the cost to communities was not factored in.

If you want the freight trains moved here is your chance. Talk to Kate and talk to Carmen. let them both know your wishes.

Local candidates should be elected on local issues. They are your local candidates. If you believe this to be a local issue then go for it.

DPTI running true to form

The headlines online today from the Eastern Courier read “Residents to hold meeting tonight to protect crossing at Millswood.”

This was in response to DPTI finding out only after the Belair trains were back in operation that their redesigned turn out bay to allow Belair trains travelling in opposite directions to pass have cut the line of sight for pedestrians crossing the corridor from Arundel Avenue to the Millswood Reserve. This means it is not safe for pedestrians to use the crossing.

This is a direct result, as I have oft claimed in the ongoing saga of the various rail revitalisation projects, of DPTI simply not having the resources to complete the projects in the time requested by the State Government. The State Government have their own agenda of course and that appears to have stuff to offer the electorate as examples of what they can do ready for the next sate Election. This may well backfire on them given the amount of angst along the rail corridors.

The problems we (residents) have experienced and their (DPTI) lack of consultation with affected residents can be simply attributed to this. They could not consult over that they were not aware of until ready to construct or have constructed (as in this case).

And again as I have been saying all along, the method of project management that DPTI use ….”Design & Construct” …. leaves little room to consult anyway because how can you when you don’t know what your doing before you do it.

Back to Millswood. Residents rightfully are aggrieved at yet another broken promise and more so when met at the meeting with verbal advice from DPTI that “they will not rule out closing that pedestrian crossing” which flies in the face of brochures at the crossing from DPTI saying “they have no plans to close the crossing”.

I congratulate residents on their civilized and considered presentation to Liberal Candidate for Ashford at the next election Terina Monteagle, Liberal member for Unley David Pisoni and Deputy Leader of the Opposition Vicki Chapman. A number of good observations have been made about how to solve this State Government created malaise.

Vicki and Terina will be taking these to DPTI management and we all thank them for that and await the results.

In the meantime I have a suggestion for DPTI’s management. If something has gone wrong and it will affect residents:

1   Don’t hide it from them. Admit it. Let them know as soon as the problem is discovered with a commitment to work with them to solve it.
2   Offer to go away and look at solutions that can be bought back to the residents, noting the need to recognise such essential things as safety etc.
3   Provide multiple solutions and seek input from residents on those solutions.
4   Implement the best option, after that process has been completed.

That may or may not be what residents prefer for sound engineering reasons or for safety but at least they will feel they have contributed rather than being lied to.

This is an approach I have long held in my business dealings. I have found that not only does it cost my business less in the long run but your client appreciates your integrity, which has other positive influences on your bottom line, repeat business or favourable references. Gee they stuffed up but you know before I could pick on them they had fixed it.

This is an approach I am actively seeking Council to adopt. We (Council) indeed have matter coming before us shortly that I will be speaking to in like terms.

It may be fair to say people in the past could not care but we are a new breed now. We do care. And while there may still be a lot of people out there who simply want the government to make decisions and get on with it, they are more who want to feel they are contributing and that the Government cares for them and how a project may impact on them.

The 21st Century solution as it where.

Goodwood Junction Residents Action Group

I can now confirm, for those who may not have recieved notice, that there will be TWO public meetings organised by Steph Keys regarding the Goodwood Junction project.

After speaking with her office I can confirm as follows:

1   Two meetings will be held, both on Thursday night coming (the 4th December) at the Goodwood Primary School.

2   The first meeting will be commencing at 6.00pm and is intended to form a resident’s action group.

3   The second meeting is a Q&A session commencing at 7.00pm with officials from DPTI answering your questions.

Questions will be answered on the three projects affecting the rail corridor through Unley including  obviously on the Junction, but also on the Rail Electrification and the Greenways projects.

If you want answers and want to be heard take advantage of Steph’s in initiative. If you have any specific questions you need answered you may wish to forward your question onto her office ASAP.

Her Office contact details are:

Phone:   08 8371 5600
Fax:       08 8371 5211
Email:   [email protected]

Goodwood Junction Information Session

Finally here (as reported recently) the Information Session being put on by DPTI is this Sunday at SASMEE Park, between 11.00am and 3.00pm.

The information Session apparently is going to include the following:

Final Layouts for the tunnel.
Includes a walk thru’ (or should I say ride thru’ Video of the tunnel.
Information on the redesign of the Brownhill Creek
Includes information on the accessing of the Brownhill Creek Culverts of Forestville Reserve
Maps locating the various services and/or service relocations
Traffic Management information for the length of the project in affected local streets
Confirmation of where the 2 (TWO) pedestrian rail crossings will be during the life of the project
Information on vegetation removal or pruning
Answers to the myriad of questions we have had over the last few months
Information on the electrification of the Noarlunga line
Advice from TransAdelaide on alternate transport options during the time of the project.

We have asked that information on the Greenways Cycleway Connection be also available but do not know if it will.

Beyond Sunday it is my understanding that there will be an ongoing “engagement” process from now until thre completion of the project by way of a regular newsletter that I trust will get to appropriate households and business, sporting clubs etc.

And our General Manager, Assets & Infrastructure will be attending a fortnightly meeting at DPTI to ensure we are kept up to date with the project as it develops, and I will keep you informed of whatever he may pass onto me.
It appears that the level of communication from DPTI is going to improve dramatically, meaning on going logistical or other concerns you may have shoudl be dealt with expeditioulsy and with empathy. Don’t forget of course that if this proves not to be the case you will still have Jennie & I to go to bat for you.

Goodwood Junction Update

Three things for every one’s attention. I have just received news about Millswood park to add to other news on this project.

1     Millswood Park as a venue for a depot.

This is no longer required.

2    Information Session

The information session will be, as I reported recently at the SASMEE Park on Sunday 28th October commencing at 11.00 am.

3  Work Commences

So before the information session work has commenced. DPTI have advised their tree contractors are starting today. Activity will focus on the Cromer Pde, Hackett and Chelmsford Ave area in the first instance, and will largely involve pruning for the safe passage of plant and equipment. It will include the removal of the Ficus on the Chelmsford/Cromer “bend”, as per DAC approvals.

For any enquiries residents may have, DPTI has set up a central “hotline” – Rail Revitalisation Project Community Information 1300 782 454.

Goodwood Junction Public Meeting

Yes we are going to have a public meeting at long last.

The following is a copy of the letter we are advised is going to residents and key stakeholders by DPTI on the Goodwood Junction Project.  Please note the time of the meeting.

Dear residents, landowners and local businesses

In the 2012/13 State Budget, the South Australian Government announced funding of $110 million for a major new infrastructure project – the Goodwood Junction Upgrade.
This project is a key part of the Government’s larger Rail Revitalisation program and will enhance rail and traffic safety, enable freight and passenger trains to operate more efficiently and reduce waiting times for traffic at the Leader Street, Victoria Street and Cross Road level crossings.
Importantly, the Goodwood Junction Upgrade will deliver local amenity improvements through reduced local noise levels, enhanced local landscaping and lighting and by facilitating improved local cycle and pedestrian links, including a new connection on the Greenways cycleway.
The project will also enable the re-alignment of Brownhill Creek and the installation of a larger culvert system to increase its capacity and help achieve the flood mitigation goals sought by the Stormwater Management Authority and Unley, Mitcham, Burnside, Adelaide and West Torrens Councils. 
The main construction activities involve the separation of the freight line and Belair passenger line from the Noarlunga passenger line through construction of a rail underpass near Victoria Street, Goodwood. This will result in the two Noarlunga lines being lowered approximately six metres below ground level. The planned works also include upgrades of signalling and reconstruction of the Leader Street, Victoria Street and East Avenue rail crossings.
The project is part of a larger $443 million package of works that will also allow for the separation of the interstate freight network from the suburban passenger rail network between North Adelaide and Torrens Junction. The State Government is delivering the project in partnership with the Australian Government, which has committed $232.1 million to the project.
The Goodwood Junction Upgrade is planned to be completed by September 2013, followed by the Torrens Junction works in 2015/16.
The project team is committed to providing all the information residents, local businesses and other interested parties need as design and construction of the Goodwood Junction Upgrade progresses.
We have organised a community information day for 28 October 2012 at SASMEE Park between 11am – 3pm, for which you will receive a separate invitation. In the next weeks we will also be visiting local households and businesses adjacent to the project area.
We are working closely with both Unley and Mitcham Councils in the planning and design stages and will continue to meet with local organisations and residents’ groups throughout the project.
I encourage you to meet the project team at our information day and ask questions regarding the design and construction works.
For more information on the Goodwood Junction Upgrade and other Rail Revitalisation projects please visit, email us at [email protected], or contact the Goodwood Junction Upgrade project team on 1300 443 198.
Yours sincerely,
Luigi Rossi
9 October 2012