It’s not the present most were wanting this year, but Byford will be getting a level crossing closure just in time for Christmas.
The Larsen Rd rail crossing will be closed for good from next Monday, December 18.
Pedestrians will still be able to cross until July 24 next year, at which time it will be closed to foot traffic until November to construct the pedestrian bridge.
But motorists wishing to get to the South West Highway will have to cross at Thomas Rd, or at Abernethy Rd from next Monday onwards.
Drivers are being asked to use Briggs Rd and Plaistowe Blvd to cut through to these roads.
There are concerns in the community about the impact the closure of Larsen Rd will have on neighbouring roads, intersections and the local trotting complex.
“The intersection of Plaistowe Boulevard and Thomas Road will be very difficult for those needing to turn right to get to the highway. I wish they’d made the traffic lights when they built the bridge,” Paige Tracey said.
“I use this crossing a lot as I live nearby and I know that others too will find this very disruptive, and those that live along the western side of Larsen Rd and on Briggs Rd will be unhappy about the extra traffic; these roads bound the Trotting Complex and it is not uncommon to see horses and their drivers crossing the road so please drive with caution. Please avoid using Thatcher Road as a short cut,” local member Hugh Jones posted on social media at the weekend.
His post highlighting the impending closure caused a social media pile-on, with commenters remarking that asking people to not use Thatcher Rd is a pointless exercise.
Others were incredulous that Sansimeon Boulevard hadn’t been extended before closing Larsen Rd, and predicting traffic jams around school pick-ups and drop-offs because of a lack of exits.
Despite community consultation on the project, many locals are still salty that the elevated rail line wasn’t continued from Armadale through to Byford.
“Why are they not putting in raised rail like in Armadale? It would open up the whole area relieving traffic, especially on Abernethy which is already a bottleneck now…For a [few] extra dollars now, it would solve a lot of problems and open up our town centre rather than the division it currently has,” Kevin Devereaux said.
Metronet has said elevated rail in Byford was investigated but wasn’t feasible in the space.
“This option would extend works east of the Evans Road roundabout, and result in a large bridge structure in front of Marri Grove Primary School. This would impact drop off and pick up, and mean a new access slip road would be required alongside the road bridge,” Metronet have said.
Meanwhile, drivers who use the Byron Rd level crossing will have another six months or so of reprieve until that crossing is also closed permanently, in mid-2024.