Morningside Crossing This Time Claims A Life
When you see this:
You know things are not going to end well.
And it didn’t.
Soon after that Tweet the reports came trickling in that a person was struck and later died by a train on the Morningside Drive Level Crossing on the Western Line earlier this evening.
Those who remember Morningside will remember this: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10872345
It was the Morningside Drive Level Crossing accident in 2013 where a female in a wheel chair got stuck on the tracks at the level crossing and suffered injuries after a glancing strike as two heroes freed her as the train hit her wheel chair on that crossing.
After that particular accident it was reported that the crossing was in poor condition and a debate raged on having the crossing grade separated pretty much immediately. Auckland Council, Auckland Transport, and Kiwi Rail all cried poor before engaging on buck passing on who should fund the grade separation. The buck passing annoyed a great many people particularly at a Council meeting where it was discussed
Fast Forward to 2015 and we have an accident at the same crossing as 2013 but this time a person was killed.
So what to expect this time? Like 2013 I expect the same from all three organisations. That is more buck passing.
Under the Long Term Plan currently out for consultation, there will be NO grade separation of crossings under the Basic Transport Plan. It will only occur if we adopt the Auckland Plan Transport Plan (which comes with either extra rates and fuel taxes, or tolls).
While Government through Kiwi Rail continues to fart arse around it might be time for Auckland to bite the bullet and take the extra debt even under the Basic Transport Network and do the grade separations ourselves. Morningside Drive Crossing is a death trap, as is Walters Road – Takanini, and St Jude Street in Avondale. Life is priceless and should not be subject to political buck passing.
So time for Auckland Transport and Auckland Council to step up, take the extra debt and grade separate those crossings. The extra $20 in our rates as a result of the program is of no comparison to that of a lost life and someone’s loved one!