The Government of Victoria in Australia has approved replacing eight level crossings in Melbourne with elevated rail designs.

The move forms a part of the government’s A$1bn ($700m) investment in level crossing removal works in Coburg, Brunswick and Preston.

As per the latest plan, four level crossings on the Upfield line and Mernda line will be removed.

The level crossings at Bell, Reynard and Munro Streets in Coburg and Moreland Road in Brunswick are slated to be removed by next year.

The crossings at Murray Road, Bell Street, Cramer Street and Oakover Road will be redundant by 2021 after the works to raise a section of the Mernda line is completed.

“It will mean no more huge waits at peak hour and will unite East and West Preston as one suburb.”

Victoria Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said: “We said we’d get rid of them and now we’re getting on with the job of removing these dangerous crossings.

“This is part of a huge investment in the inner north creating jobs and better connections for those living and working in these communities.”

The elevated design, as well as the removal of level crossings, will reduce disruption in transportation. Around 150,000 vehicles pass through these eight level crossings every day.

Additionally, the construction of elevated rail tracks will take around 18 months less than lowering them, which will accelerate the completion of the project.

As part of the programme, railway stations will also be built at Coburg, Moreland, Preston and Bell.

Member for Preston Robin Scott said: “Removing these four level crossings in Preston will make a huge improvement to people’s lives. It will mean no more huge waits at peak hour and will unite East and West Preston as one suburb.”