Duke Street Bridge closure raises safety concerns
Two Public Transport Authority inspectors assess structural condition of Duke Street
pedestrian rail crossing.
THE STATE Government closed the Duke Street footbridge across Toodyay’s busy railway line last month after a woman was injured when she fell on the uneven surface.
She hurt her knee and right side and reported the accident to the Shire of Toodyay, which resulted in the Public Transport Authority posting a sign (left) closing the bridge for “inspection and repair”.
Perth PTA spokesman David Hynes said the authority “will investigate the most appropriate options for the bridge” after obtaining a structural report on its condition.Read more
“The pedestrian bridge over the freight railway at Toodyay is not the only way to cross the tracks in this area – there are a number of other options for residents,” he said.
Indian Pacific passenger train approaches Toodyay Railway Station pedestrian
crossing at high speed.
However, wheelchair and gopher users say they are afraid to use the Toodyay railway station pedestrian crossing because of the speed at which heavy freight trains approach.
They fear falling off the narrow, bumpy crossing and becoming trapped on the rails when a train is coming.
“There’s a blind woman who won’t use the railway station crossing because it’s too dangerous,” one regular bridge user said.
The Harper Street rail underpass adds more than two kilometres to a return trip to town and the other rail crossing on the Hamersley Road heavy-haulage bypass has no footpath.
The PTA said in 2015 that it didn’t believe the bridge complied with federal disability law and that it would be far more difficult for a person in a wheelchair to use than the railway station crossing.
Shire President Brian Rayner said the PTA should repair the bridge as soon as possible.