Tram separator works underway in CBD
More than five kilometres of new tram separation kerbs will be installed within the CBD between now and November, as the state government looks to reduce accidents and major disruptions inside the Hoddle Grid.
The raised kerbs, which separate trams from vehicles, will be installed along along La Trobe, Flinders, Swanston, Spring and Spencer streets in the coming months.
The separators not only reduce the chance of vehicle-to-tram collisions but, by extension, result in fewer instances of trams emergency breaking to avoid collisions, which can prove dangerous for tram passengers too.
Yarra Trams chief executive Julien Dehornoy said Melburnians might be surprised about the statistics surrounding tram accidents.
“There’s an average of three vehicle-to-tram collisions on Melbourne’s tram network each day,” he said.
“These new kerbs will reduce these on many of the CBD’s busiest streets, resulting in faster and safer journeys for cars, buses, and trams.”
The separation kerbs — which are made using recycled materials including old tram windows — also made it harder for vehicles to illegally block trams, which can wreck havoc with journey times, especially during peak hour.
Emergency vehicles can still mount the kerbs to respond to urgent situations.
Last year, the state government’s first round of works saw kerbs installed on Collins, Bourke and Elizabeth streets, which it claimed had already reduced vehicle-to-tram collisions by around 30 per cent.
The government’s latest budget included funds to deliver six new level-access tram stops along La Trobe St.
“We’re investing more than ever before to make Melbourne’s tram network into a more modern, accessible and safe mode of transport,” Public Transport Minister Ben Carroll said.
“This investment is keeping Victorians safe, making our tram network more reliable and creating hundreds of jobs.”
The project will be delivered between now and November, with work sites moving progressively in sections along each of the routes.
Notably, La Trobe St will have separation kerbs installed along its entire length. For CBD residents, works will take place at night-time from Sundays to Thursdays (no work on Friday or Saturday nights) and noise levels are expected to be “low-to-medium” according to Yarra Trams.
There will be temporary overnight road and parking closures, with localised detours near work sites as required.
Access to properties, businesses or emergency services, however, will be maintained throughout. •
Caption: Tram separator kerbs on Collins St.