Consumerism Melbourne transport TV

Plugs for friends and good causes

A few plugs for things spotted recently…


A while back I was getting a couple of enterprising students, Keith and David, to do my mowing. They’d turn up with their dad driving a stationwagon full of gardening implements of destruction, and do the gardening. But a couple of months ago they bowed out, saying their mower had broken down. They said they’d call back when it was fixed. They haven’t called back, so I assume that either the mower is beyond repair, or is enormously complex and timeconsuming, or they finally figured out that gardening with dad’s used equipment is bloody hard work, especially when it’s either raining or hot, which accounts for a lot of days.

My sister came to the rescue. Not because she’s volunteering to do my mowing (her house is blessedly lawn-free), but because a good friend of hers, Andrew, has started up a garden services business. Makes a change from bloody Jim’s Mowing/Gardening/Brain Surgery, anyway. I got him around to go over the garden, and he did a bloody good job. His card says he used to contract for the Royal Parks, London, which is pretty impressive. I wonder if his mower has a royal seal on it?

So if you’re looking for gardening, and your own David and Keith have deserted you too:

Andrew Wozencroft
Manor House Garden Services, Caulfield
0424 068 573

Level crossing petition

David Bramwells lost his daughter in an accident at Bentleigh railway station last year. He’s now got a petition going to remove level crossings, which has gained publicity in the worst possible way: another accident at North Shore on Monday. Apart from the safety benefits, removing level crossings would also allow more frequent train services without local opposition due to traffic disruption, and less delays for street-based public transport (buses and trams) and pedestrians (including train passengers). Both Melbourne and Sydney started removing level crossings in the 60s… Sydney completed their project, but Melbourne’s stopped around 1970, with the money diverted to building the Eastern Freeway. Sign the petition.

Riding Sri Lanka for MS (or not)

Trish and Leanne are storming ahead with their charity Ride Sri Lanka for MS… though it may not be a bike ride, and it may not be in Sri Lanka. It will be for MS though.

Vietnam by Cyclo

Speaking of activities in foreign countries for charity, some guys are travelling by cyclo (a kind of three-wheeled thing) through Vietnam to raise money for KOTO, which helps former streetkids and others from disadvantaged backgrounds in Hanoi. And as they go, they’re writing a very entertaining blog. There’s a description of the project, and a printable brochure describing it all, including how to donate.

“OKay….you’ve been warned. If you don’t pay up then there will be more bare chested Adam pictures. No more Mr Nice Guy.”

Goodies coming back

The Goodies are coming back to Australia for another tour, hitting most capital cities and a number of smaller ones. At least, two-thirds of them are touring. Bill Oddie will appear by video link. With my impending mortgage and its unknown effects on my budgetting, I’m giving it a miss, but I understand the last tour was pretty good.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

10 replies on “Plugs for friends and good causes”

No way am I signing that petition! I don’t agree with it. *Some* level crossings should be grade seperated (Bentleigh is not one of them), such as Springvale Road Nunawading, and also in cases in which it is not feasible to provide a more frequent service with a crossing. We should *not* be spending hundreds of millions of dollars grade seperating crossings, it should be spent on improving services, that way we wouldn’t need to drive so that there would be less people driving over them in the first place!

Besides, in my experience petitions never seem to go anywhere! Sydney still has some level crossings in suburbia, I think roughly about 5 or 6, still not ‘complete’ in my opinion. Personally I wouldn’t like riding on suburban trains and having the railway line either up in the air dangling above the roofs of shops (Canterbury style) or in a cutting with steel-and-glass stations that have the booking office upstairs lining the track (Boronia/soon-to-be Laburnum style). I like watching scenery pass by.

Fair enough, objections noted. I agree that better services are a higher priority than level crossings, however on some train lines, the level crossings will have to be removed before more frequent services can be provided (eg Box Hill to Ringwood). And in some cases such as Glenhuntly, level crossing removal would be a big boost for the trams.

Safety is important though. At North Shore, it would seem obvious to have a fence between the car park and the track. We’re all human, and we all make mistakes — an unfortunate decision like that should not be a fatal one.

I have eaten in the Hanoi restaurant mentioned in their blog and it is great. While it makes a small impression on poverty, it does make an impression. Have a look at their blog and think about donating.

Level crossings should be removed wherever they can be, to improve travel times and frequencies for trains and to improve travel times for road traffic.

Safety is also an issue.

But I am not signing that petition because it has been promoted recently after an event that was totally unrelated to the presence or absence of level crossings. The North Shore death was due to the absence of pedestrian fencing, which is very cheap and easy to install (no more than $100 per metre). For the petition writer to use that girl’s death to promote one’s own political cause (as he did in the news), when her death was unrelated to that cause, is not acceptable.

The petition was started several weeks ago, before the North Shore accident, primarily in response to his daughter’s death at Bentleigh last year. It was promoted before North Shore, but obviously that has made it more topical.

Thanks for the plug, Daniel!
It now is “Trish & Leanne’s ride … somewhere” but that was always the icing on the cake of the funds we’ll raise for the MS Society anyway. Ahhh, to find the time to blog about it all & fill in the gaps …

Whilst all deaths are regrettable, Alana Nobbs died because she chose to ignore an operational safety device, NOT because the crossing was there. Sarah Stringer died because she behaved recklessly, NOT because the area was unfenced. Grade separation should be carried out for logistical reasons, NOT because individuals, their families and media outlets chose to abrogate personal accountability.

u no that wAS my best friend SARAH STRINGER she didnt die because she behaved reklessy she died because there was no fence i no it was her fault but this could of been prevented if there was a fence wat idiots dont put a fence there it took the life of my best friend for some 1 to relise that my family have been asking for a dence there for years as my younger sibling nilly got hit!! NOW DO THEY DO ANYTYING THEN NO IT TAKES SUMONES PRECISE LIFE TO RELISE THERE STUPID!! sarah wasnt just my best friend she was my life now i have lost half my life! so dont any 1 blame it on her!! it was the railways fault not my baby girls!!

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