Reopening Lydiard Street – Ministerial Response

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Original constituency question from Juliana Addison MP to Parliament –

My question is directed to the Minister for Public Transport and Minister for Roads and Road Safety regarding the Lydiard Street heritage gates and the reopening of Lydiard Street to vehicles.

Will the minister please come to Ballarat to provide an update on what progress has been made and what still must be done to address the heritage and safety issues and the reopening of the road?

The Sunday morning after the crash I spoke directly to the then Minister for Public Transport, and since then I have spoken weekly with the minister’s office, passing on local concerns about the impact that the closure of Lydiard Street is having on local businesses and residents. I have also met with V/Line executives on four occasions, providing them with local feedback.

I will continue to listen, to raise the concerns of stakeholders and constituents about the issue and to advocate for the reopening of Lydiard Street.


Response from the Hon. Ben Carroll MP, Minister for Public Transport & Minister for Roads and Road Safety (2nd June 2021) –

I thank the member for her question.

I want to thank the local community for their patience on this issue and acknowledge the advocacy of the local members on this issue. We’ve heard loud and clear that the Ballarat community wants Lydiard Street open to traffic and I thank the member for her advocacy on this matter.

That’s why I was pleased to announce on 10 May 2021, with the member as well as the Member for Buninyong, that the Victorian Budget 2021/2022 is investing $10.5 million to reopen the Lydiard Street level crossing safely, with a half-boom barrier crossing and upgraded signalling system.

We know that the closure of this crossing has been incredibly frustrating, and the project team will now work as hard as they can to get Lydiard Street open quickly and safely. These upgrades will ensure that the crossing is inline with modern safety standards, while still recognising the heritage that is intrinsic to Ballarat.

While a final design for the upgraded crossing is being developed, work is already underway for a temporary solution to reopen Lydiard Street that will involve half boom barriers being connected to the older manual signalling system. This project will not only reopen the road – once complete, it will permanently improve the crossing with the existing signalling system replaced with new modern technology. This upgrade will make travelling this stretch of road easier and safer for everyone by automating the opening and closing of the crossing and reducing the amount of time the crossing is closed to traffic.

The upgrade will pay tribute to the rich history of Ballarat, with V/Line, the Department of Transport and a specialist heritage advisor working closely with Heritage Victoria on final design for the crossing.

Reopening the crossing to traffic will ensure that locals and visitors alike can once again use Lydiard Street – one of Ballarat’s most important north-south connections – to access local businesses, jobs, education, sports and social events.

These upgrades are the outcome of a wide range of specialist assessments and investigations following an incident involving the crossing in May 2020.