Upgrading Auckland’s rail crossings to save lives

Today Transport Minister Phil Twyford confirmed $7.6 million for automatic pedestrian crossing gates for 11 more Auckland rail crossings to keep people safe.

Over the next five years, Auckland Transport (AT) is planning safety improvements at all 51 pedestrian rail crossings in Auckland, by installing automatic gates, grade separation, or closing the crossing.

Phil Twyford said that improving safety to save lives is one of the government’s transport priorities.

“There have been too many stories of people getting hurt or killed by trains in Auckland. Improving the safety at rail crossings is one of the ways that we can help prevent harm to our kids and families when they’re getting around the city.

“We know that installing automatic gates at rail crossings saves lives. Since the introduction of automatic pedestrian gates at Glenview Road in Glen Eden and at Metcalfe Road in Ranui, there have been no further records of near misses at these locations.

“We’ve already started the work, with seven crossings getting automatic gate safety upgrades last year, including the site where Keenan Matthes was tragically killed last year. I’d like to pay tribute to the Matthes family for their advocacy on this issue and we’re trying to make sure that no other family will have to experience the same heartbreak.

“This work is especially important given that there are newer, quieter trains going more frequently, meaning more chances for accidents. In the 12 months to 31 August, there have been 52 pedestrian near misses at level crossings on AT’s network, with a further 51 near misses recorded in the rail corridor,” said Phil Twyford.

AT have successfully completed the first phase of their Programme for the Automatic Pedestrian Rail Crossing Gates -  7 sites along the Western Line, namely Metcalfe Road, Glenview Road, Rossgrove Tce, Asquith Ave and Fruitvale Road, Lloyd Ave and Woodward Road. 

The project team will now move onto the next phase, which includes St Georges Road, Chalmers Street, St Judes, Portage Road, and is due to be completed by June, in the current financial year. A further phase is expected to be completed in the 2019/2020 financial year, and includes Te Mahia, Spartan Road, Takanini, Manuroa, Walters Road, Taka St and Tirnoui Rd.

The funding for the safety upgrades is jointly provided by AT and NZTA. The work to improve level crossing safety within the Auckland area is being carried out jointly by AT and KiwiRail.