Hub­bub over ac­cess

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS - Lau­ren Pi­lat

MAN­NING res­i­dents and busi­ness own­ers are calling for more ef­fi­cient and ac­ces­si­ble pub­lic trans­port to ser­vice the City of South Perth’s largest project, worth $17 mil­lion.

The Man­ning Com­mu­nity Hub is the City’s big­gest in­vest­ment and was de­signed to pro­vide the com­mu­nity with a con­nected and at­trac­tive precinct in­te­grat­ing com­mu­nity ser­vices and so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties.

The hub, which in­cludes a li­brary, com­mu­nity hall, child care fa­cil­i­ties, sports clubs and com­mu­nity groups, opened in 2017 and is ser­viced by Transperth bus routes 30 and 31 about 450m away on Chal­lenger Av­enue.

The routes ser­vice Bent­ley (in­clud­ing Curtin Univer­sity), Como, Man­ning, Sal­ter Point and South Perth and con­nect them to Perth city.

How­ever, O’Brien’s Cloth­ing owner Michael O’Brien said with the hub now a draw­card to the area, pub­lic trans­port needed to bet­ter ser­vice the area to meet de­mand and in­crease ac­ces­si­bil­ity to the area for the el­derly.

“Now that the City has built a li­brary, sports club and all the other fa­cil­i­ties in the area, it’s be­com­ing a real hub of Man­ning, which is great, but we have no di­rect pub­lic trans­port,” he said.

“There’ll be hun­dreds of peo­ple em­ployed here and cus­tomers com­ing here too.

“With Wel­wyn Av­enue now the main street of the hub, there needs to be a bus route that ser­vices the area di­rectly, es­pe­cially so el­derly lo­cals who no longer drive can ac­cess the li­brary and other fa­cil­i­ties.

“It would also take more cars off the road.”

South Perth MLA John McGrath took the mat­ter to Par­lia­ment last month, ask­ing for Trans­port Min­is­ter Rita Saf­fi­oti to re­view the Transperth bus routes 30 and 31.

Mr McGrath said with the City of South Perth ex­pe­ri­enc­ing an in­crease in empty nesters, re­tirees and se­niors, pub­lic trans­port op­tions needed to be as­sessed to ac­com­mo­date for the age­ing pop­u­la­tion.

In light of a planned res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ment at the hub, Mr McGrath ar­gued that this would be an op­por­tu­nity for the Pub­lic Trans­port Au­thor­ity (PTA) to re­view its routes ser­vic­ing the Man­ning and sur­round­ing ar­eas to en­sure their ef­fec­tive­ness and ac­ces­si­bil­ity go­ing into the fu­ture.

This in­cluded con­sid­er­ing redi­rect­ing one of the bus routes through Wel­wyn Av­enue and pro­vid­ing a bus stop close to the hub.

Trans­port Min­is­ter Rita Saf­fi­oti said she had asked Transperth to ar­range a meet­ing with Mr McGrath and the Man­ning Com­mu­nity Hub to dis­cuss op­tions for route 31.

Ac­cord­ing to a Depart­ment of Trans­port spokesman, the wider Man­ning area was well ser­viced by pub­lic trans­port, with five routes mak­ing 512 trips each week­day.

“The State Gov­ern­ment and Transperth recog­nise the im­por­tance of pro­vid­ing reg­u­lar ac­ces­si­ble pub­lic trans­port for all pas­sen­gers, par­tic­u­larly the el­derly,” he said.

Pic­ture: David Baylis­mu­ni­ d487481

Michael O’Brien from O’Brien’s Cloth­ing, South Perth MLA John McGrath and Jill Barker from SLP Real Es­tate to the right of lo­cal res­i­dents and shop own­ers want­ing bet­ter pub­lic trans­port op­tions for Man­ning.

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