Cummins rail crossing safety concerns raised

CONCERNED: Local business owner and Country Fire Service lieutenant Troy Branson says the level crossing on Tumby Bay Road is dangerous.
CONCERNED: Local business owner and Country Fire Service lieutenant Troy Branson says the level crossing on Tumby Bay Road is dangerous.

A Cummins business owner is concerned about safety at the level crossing in Cummins on Tumby Bay Road, between Railway Terrace and the Tod Highway.

Cummins Country Fire Service (CFS) lieutenant Troy Branson said the existing level crossing was dangererous and there should be a pedestrian crossing on Tumby Bay road.

Mr Branson said he had written to the Lower Eyre Peninsula District Council regarding the crossing.

“I’m concerned for people’s lives and safety – most drivers are very vigilant and looking out but it only takes that split second of inattention and it could be fatal.

“We get some really big trucks rolling through there, especially through harvest time.

“There’s enough vehicles that don’t stop at the stop sign already.”

Mr Branson owns Cummins Hardware, which is near the crossing, and said he was concerned for his staff’s children who walked to school and crossed the level crossing each day.

“I regularly see school kids, mothers with prams, and the elderly walk across the bitumen (and) over the train tracks every morning to class,” Mr Branson said.

At the December Lower Eyre Peninsula District Council meeting, councillor Wendy Holman said the council could not make the decision on whether to install pedestrian crossings at the level crossing and instead needed to consult with the operators of the railway, Genesee and Wyoming Australia (GWA).

The council advised Mr Branson his request for a pedestrian rail crossing near the Tumby Bay Road intersection had merit and would be considered in future budgets.

A GWA spokesperson said the company had not received any formal requests for a new crossing in Cummins but it would be happy to consider any requests.

I’m concerned for people’s lives and safety – most drivers are very vigilant and looking out but it only takes that split second of inattention and it could be fatal.

Troy Branson

Mr Branson said as a CFS volunteer he worried about public safety and would like to see a pedestrian crossing installed before a fatality or injury occurred.

“I’d prefer to make it safer than cleaning up one hell of a mess.” Mr Branson said.

“It’s to keep pedestrians safe...some of the trucks that roll through there weigh 50 to 60 tonnes – they don’t stop in a hurry.”