Race on to save road

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Road closure ‘railroaded’: Carrum residents Michael and Fiona Tellesson want Eel Race Road to stay. Picture: Gary Sissons

A FIGHT to keep Eel Race Rd in Carrum open to traffic is set to go the distance despite a decision to close the road as part of the state government’s level crossing removals project.

A petition with 571 signatures has been tabled in the Victorian Parliament urging the state government to intervene and reverse a Level Crossing Removal Authority move to axe the road when road is separated from rail at Carrum.

Opponents of the closure of Eel Race Rd say congestion will increase on nearby streets and part of the Carrum community will be effectively cut off from neighbouring areas.

Carrum residents Michael and Fiona Tellesson are heading the push to demand the Labor state government rethink the closure plans for Eel Race Rd.

“If we lose that crossing and then lose Armstrong Rd down the track — literally — we’re going to be in strife and we’re going to be landlocked,” Mr Tellesson said.

“That road was there before the Frankston line was built in 1882. That’s how far back it goes.”

The LXRA argues Eel Race Rd should be closed for safety reasons and says motorists will be able to use McLeod Rd and Mascot Avenue to cross the railway line.

A 900-metre long raised rail bridge will be built over McLeod Rd and level crossings at Station St, Eel Race Rd and Mascot Ave will be removed.

Eel Race Rd itself has been earmarked for closure.

“It’s going to increase the traffic along Railway Parade and Station St in Seaford,” Mr Tellesson said.

Mr Tellesson said many Carrum residents are “frustrated at spin” focusing on asking the community about “peripheral things” like colours and types of trees to be planted instead of listening to feedback from those who regularly use Eel Race Rd.

“The LXRA has gone on a journey but not taken the community with them,” he said.

“They’ve not come up with a solution the community can live with.”

Mr Tellesson said people seem to believe the closure of Eel Race Rd “is a done deal” but he noted it is not too late for the government to heed community concerns and stop the plan.

“We’re not against change. If it’s positive change, great. But not negative change like this,” he said.

“It’s against the will of the people and we didn’t really vote on the road closure at the last election.”

A plan to build a $50 million promenade between McLeod Rd and Eel Race Rd was unveiled by Premier Daniel Andrews and Carrum MP Sonya Kilkenny in early August.

Train stabling at Carrum will be moved to Kananook.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 23 August 2017

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