ROAD CLO­SURE A “KNEE-JERK RE­AC­TION”

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By ROSANNA CANDLER

CLOSING Nid­jalla Loop at the in­ter­sec­tion of Al­fred Road in Swan­bourne for two years would be a “knee-jerk re­ac­tion” to ap­pease a small pres­sure group, says Ned­lands Mayor Max Hip­kins.

Ned­lands Coun­cil went against the staff rec­om­men­da­tion and ap­proved Cr Leo McManus’s mo­tion to close the road at its April 28 meet­ing.

Mr McManus said there was “al­most com­plete agree­ment” among res­i­dents that nearby con­struc­tion, in­clud­ing the Aria Swan­bourne Apart­ments devel­op­ment, was “un­ten­able”.

“The stress for res­i­dents is con­sid­er­able and they de­serve to live in peace and har­mony with the lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment,” he said.

Tech­ni­cal ser­vices direc­tor Mark Goodlet said that, while there was “lit­tle jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for closing the road for traf­fic speed or vol­ume rea­sons”, the pre­ven­tion of through traf­fic to the sub­di­vi­sion would “add to its ex­clu­siv­ity and amenity”.

The City of Ned­lands will ac­cept sub­mis­sions on clo­sure un­til June 8.

How­ever, Clare­mont res­i­dent Lind­say Youd said the con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod was not long enough.

“Why is there a big panic and rush to do this?” Mr Youd said. “It does seem to be strange that this has been so quickly pushed through for the ben­e­fit of just 50 homes.

“The City’s study said they ex­pect an ex­tra 500 cars to be put onto Nid­jalla Road go­ing right by Swan­bourne Pri­mary School, which is al­ready so con­gested. When I con­tacted the school last week, they didn’t even know about the clo­sure plans.”

Mr Hip­kins, who voted against the mo­tion, said coun­cil­lors had been swayed to make a de­ci­sion that could be solved by up­com­ing mi­nor traf­fic im­prove­ments.

The fi­nal de­ci­sion is ex­pected at the July coun­cil meet­ing, with the road clo­sure due to start on Au­gust 3.

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