Rail crossings across Auckland are being provided with new safety gates to reduces hazards and risks to the pedestrians who use them every day.
Auckland Transport (AT) and KiwiRail will be carrying out the works to install new gates at crossings at Asquith Avenue and Rossgrove Terrace (Baldwin Avenue Station), Fruitvale Road Station and the crossings at Woodward Road and Lloyd Avenue (Mount Albert Station).
The pedestrian crossing at Metcalfe Road in Ranui had the automatic gates installed last year.
“We are working to make public transport travel safe for everyone. There have been some tragedies at certain pedestrian level crossings and these gates will go a long way to ensure greater safety for all,” AT’s group manager of general projects, David Nelson, said.
The automatic safety swing gates are activated by a sensor on the tracks. When a train approaches, the sensor is triggered – bells are set off, red lights to flash on and off, and the gates close automatically. A safety zone with an emergency exit gate is part of the setup.
Pedestrians wait behind the swing gate and wait until it is fully open before crossing. If the gates start closing while a pedestrian is crossing, the pedestrian will be able to proceed to the safe zone in front of the emergency exit gate on the other side and push the emergency exit gate to walk through.
The Albert-Eden Local Board’s Graeme Easte, who has advocated for greater rail crossing safety, welcomed the gate installation project.
“All rail crossings carry an amount of risk so Albert-Eden Local Board is pleased to see Auckland Transport and KiwiRail partnering on this programme, which should greatly reduce this risk in keeping our communities safe,” Mr Easte said.
Megan Drayton, TrackSAFE manager, said that the new gates would help reduce injuries and fatalities at rail crossings.
“Every incident on the rail network results in trauma not just for the victim, but also that person’s friends, whanau and the wider community. Collisions are also extremely traumatic for train drivers,” Drayton said.
“We support this programme, which will provide immediate safety benefits for pedestrians and cyclists needing to cross railway tracks, as part of their daily lives.
“We also encourage people to expect trains from both directions and check to see the tracks are completely clear when crossing. People should also stay alert, and avoid using headphones or mobile phones anywhere near roads or the railway.”
The gates installations at Baldwin Avenue, Mount Albert and Fruitvale Road stations will be complete by June.