After nearly two years of campaigning for change, Whitby resident Sandra Hawkins can celebrate a win for her community’s safety.
Important upgrades to the Keirnan Street rail crossing have moved a step closer with funding for the project now secured and planning underway.
Situated between Whitby Estate and Court Grammar School, the rail crossing experiences high levels of foot traffic, vehicles and trains every day.
The project will include the construction of a maze pedestrian crossing to improve safety at the railway located near the intersection of Keirnan Street and Soldiers Road.
A total of $673,000 has been budgeted for the project over the next two years.
The Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale will contribute $323,000, with a further $350,000 contributed by Main Roads WA.
Whitby resident Sandra Hawkins has been a strong advocate for the installation of the rail crossing and said this was a major step forward in improving safety on the suburb’s local roads.
The determined local threatened to host a sit-in protest on the rail line back in January 2022 when she believed the community’s concerns were not being properly considered.
“I have seen quite a few near misses with children being missed by a matter of inches with cars coming around,” she said.
“This is something that will help keep our community, particularly the young families, safe while they enjoy walking around outdoors.
“I’ve been advocating for this rail crossing for years and it’s great to see it going ahead and to see the shire and Main Roads working with our local community.”
The shire will carry out the design and planning stages of the works throughout this financial year, with further timelines for site works and construction to be announced when available.
“This new pedestrian crossing will help to ensure all students and parents enjoy safer commutes to and from school,” shire president Michelle Rich said.
“It will also provide better connection between Whitby and adjacent suburbs like Mundijong and Byford.”
While local member Hugh Jones said he was pleased “a solution to this long-standing issue has been worked through”.
“Sandra Hawkins has been a tireless advocate for the Whitby community and has achieved a great result,” he said.