Accident highlights 'unresolved issue', says chamber
Peninsula Chamber of Commerce has described the railway crossing accident as "a tragedy", and the Government's attitude as "an embarrassment" and "not good enough".
Chamber president Mr Matthew Wales said: "What it has done is serve to highlight the unresolved issue of what happens to the level crossing.
"At the moment, the State Government has walked away from this location because in their view it is cost prohibitive," Mr Wales said.
"The chamber's position is simply that this is not good enough," he said.
"We have to sit down with both the State Government and the Central Coast Council and find the solution to the replacement of the level crossing especially after the fact that they have spent $6.2 million on the pedestrian underpass that hardly anybody uses because it is easier for them to walk straight across the level crossing at the existing pedestrian gates.
"Until the level crossing is completely closed and the only access available is via the new pedestrian underpass and an alternative vehicle underpass, there will always be a level of risk at that level crossing.
"The safety risk is compounded by the intersection of Rawson Rd with Station St which is suffering from increased usage and creating its own safety issues.
"Our position is that the Government has to come up with a solution and put aside its concerns over the previous costings and find a way forward in consultation with the local community and the Council so that this gets resolved.
"Whether you build an underpass at existing crossing or another one down at Bulls Hill, I don't care.
"They have to come up with a plan.
"If it means the Government has to allocate funds over a period of time let's do it, but putting it on the backburner is not going to solve the problem.
"Once again, are we the last cab off the rank as we are so often?
"It's an embarrassment," Mr Wales said.
Interview, 18 Jan 2017
Matthew Wales, Peninsula Chamber of Commerce
Reporter: Jackie Pearson