QR rejects request for boom gates

By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au

ONE of Gladstone's most notorious rail crossings, Mercury Street, will not get boom gates after Queensland Rail (QR) decided they are not necessary.

Mercury Street has long been the source of discussion, with a push from the community and Gladstone City Council to have boom gates installed before a serious accident occurs.

The nearby Witney Street crossing is owned by Gladstone City Council, which recently approved the installation of boom gates at the crossing.

The council then wrote to QR asking it to follow suit and install boom gates at its Mercury Street crossing.

However QR acting regional manager network infrastructure Wayne Brigg wrote to the council saying QR didn't consider boom gates were necessary at either crossing.

"In both cases the existing flashing lights were deemed sufficient to control the risk. Neither rail crossings require boom gates to be fitted,'' Mr Brigg said.

Gladstone City councillor Matt Burnett has been the biggest advocate for boom gates and said it was important to have boom gates at both rail crossings because they were situated in built-up residential areas.

Cr Burnett said the council would now move to do a detailed design and costing for the boom gates at Witney Street.

"We'll do our bit as we have promised and hopefully they (QR) will think about it and decide to do Mercury street,'' Cr Burnett said. QR also said it would not meet any of the cost of the boom gates at Witney Street.

Design and construction is expected to take about six months.



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