The railway crossing on the shared path at the Ravensbourne
The Dunedin City Council is to improve safety at a rail
crossing on Dunedin's harbourside walk and cycleway after
investigating concerns about the crossing's safety.
Ravensbourne Boating Club Commodore Warwick Graham told the
Otago Daily Times in May someone could be killed if
nothing was done to fix the crossing on the Ravensbourne
section of the shared track.
''It's no good waiting until somebody gets killed. I don't
want to be picking up body parts off the railway lines,'' he
said at the time.
Following those comments, the council carried out its own
investigation into safety at the crossing, and based on video
surveillance in June, found an average of at least 421
cyclists and pedestrians crossed it each day.
Council senior traffic engineer Ron Minnema said following
the investigations it was decided the number of trains which
passed daily and the level of use of the shared path meant
''at this stage'' a major upgrade of the crossing was not
The council had instead chosen to make minor alterations to
improve safety at the site at a cost of about $4000. These
alterations included installing four new ''look for trains''
signs, putting a skid-resistant surface on the timber
sleepers that form part of the crossing and reducing the
steepness of the approach ramp so it was easier to cross for
people using wheelchairs. It was hoped the work would be done
in the next few months.
The council would monitor how busy the crossing was in spring
to assess whether further measures, such as installing
flashing lights and beacons, were needed.
Mr Minnema was hesitant to say whether the crossing should
have been made safer when the shared path was constructed,
saying only: ''It would look that way, wouldn't it?''Mr
Graham was happy the council had responded to his concerns,
but added that even once the alterations there would still be
a safety risk.
''I still think the barrier is probably the best way to go,
although it's probably a lot more cost,'' he said.