LXRA Seaford Shared User Path outcome disappoints Council
The Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) will build the Seaford Shared User Path on Council’s non-preferred route – entirely along the railway line between Coolibar Avenue and Eel Race Road.
This follows Council writing to LXRA CEO Kevin Devlin last month to express its concerns about vegetation removal and reaffirm its preference for the planned route via Riviera Street.
Council gave its in principal support for this design due to its environmental, access and safety benefits.
In particular, Council believed that a revised Riviera alignment proposed by Southern Program Alliance (SPA), which is completing the local LXRA projects, would affect fewer established trees than the rail corridor option.
Frankston City Mayor, Sandra Mayer, said Council was disappointed with the outcome and was sure many in the community would be too.
“There has been much debate in the community recently regarding the route for the Shared User Path and we thought we had a workable option. Unfortunately this option has been disregarded.
“We want to share the below timeline with our community so that they can see Riviera Street was our preferred route throughout this process,” Cr Mayer said.
“We worked hard, lobbying behalf of our residents for the most environmentally and user-friendly outcome, which disappointingly won’t be achieved.
“The route the State Government has chosen for this project doesn’t include Council land and therefore doesn’t require a Council planning permit. Sadly, this means stopping the work is outside of our control.”
Seaford Shared User Path Timeline
Following public consultation on the Seaford Revitalisation Package, SPA advised Council it was evaluating three options for the Shared User Path between Seaford and Eel Race Road.
One of these options ran down the rail corridor from the north, then diverted through Riviera Street, before crossing Kananook Creek and continuing along the rail corridor towards Seaford.
At Seaford, the path again diverted to the west of the RSL, over Station Street, and along the edge of the station car park.
As the Riviera Street diversion fell beyond the limits of the initial project plan, it required a planning permit from Council.
SPA confirmed Riviera Street was its preferred option and Council worked extensively with their representatives to consider all engineering and environmental aspects of the plan so that a permit could be granted.
11 February 2020
SPA told Council it was considering running the Shared User Path entirely within the rail corridor and bypassing Riviera Street completely, as to avoid potential project delays involved in gaining Council planning approval.
13 February 2020
Internal meetings with Council stakeholders reaffirmed support for the Riviera Street alignment as it had a lower impact on vegetation, greater amenity, better access and was safer.
18 February 2020
Council wrote to LXRA CEO Kevin Devlin expressing concerns about tree removal and giving in principal support for the Riviera Street route.
19 February 2020
SPA met with Council to discuss plans for the rail corridor route. It also presented a revised route for Riviera Street which would avoid most of the larger trees which would have been impacted by the original design.
21 February 2020
Council met with SPA to discuss new route options and the Council planning approval process for the alternative Riviera Street alignment.
26 February 2020
Regular Council and SPA liaison meeting included further discussion about route options and tabling of planning approval timelines for the new Riviera Street option.
4 March 2020
SPA advised Council that it would construct the Shared User Path entirely along the rail corridor between Coolibar Avenue and Eel Race Road.