Main Roads down­plays traf­fic fears

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BAS­SETT

MAIN Roads told Cottes­loe coun­cil­lors there was noth­ing to fear from trucks spilling into their town from Port Beach Road if a $4 bil­lion route in­clud­ing the con­tro­ver­sial $1.6b Perth Freight Link (PFL) to Fre­man­tle Port is com­plete.

“Con­tainer trucks trav­el­ling on Port Beach Road (are) cur­rently two per cent of all ve­hi­cles – no change with the PFL,” Main Road staff said at the re­cent brief­ing.

PFL crit­ics, in­clud­ing Cottes­loe coun­cil­lors Jack Walsh, Sally Pyvis and Jay Birn­brauer, have cited Main Roads’ es­ti­mates of up to 42 per cent of trucks “leak­ing” from ma­jor routes to streets. It is feared a greater per­cent­age of the 13,200 trucks es­ti­mated to use the PFL by 2030 will go through Cottes­loe to avoid a toll.

Main Roads staff said 42 per cent was a “con­ser­va­tive” es­ti­mate for the PFL’s busi­ness case, there was no in­cen­tive for more trucks to come north from the port, and con­tainer trucks would not in­crease be­cause the PFL was de­signed for pro­jected ve­hi­cle num­bers and not to in­crease traf­fic vol­umes.

Cr Walsh said he was still not con­vinced more trucks would not use the al­ready con­gested route be­cause Main Roads’ staff “skirted around” his four ques­tions at the brief­ing about if the heavy ve­hi­cles’ use of Curtin Av­enue would be con­trolled.

“They are plan­ning that when the PFL is fin­ished, the trucks that go north from Rous Head will con­tinue to go through here,” Cr Walsh said.

Main Roads has $40 mil­lion to re­align Curtin Av­enue in­land, be­tween the Vic­to­ria Street and North Fre­man­tle train sta­tions, from 2017-18. and the brief­ing showed pre­vi­ous de­signs for re­align­ment’s po­ten­tial two-lane northerly con­tin­u­a­tion past the town cen­tre.

Last month, the coun­cil restarted in­ves­ti­gat­ing how to plan for houses on any spare rail­way land along the route, and how to bet­ter con­nect the town cen­tre with trains and public trans­port.

Mayor Jo Dawkins said the coun­cil had to work with both Main Roads and the Public Transit Au­thor­ity about the fu­ture of Curtin Av­enue and us­ing ad­ja­cent rail­way land for in­fill hous­ing, but the coun­cil’s pref­er­ence was still to sink part of the rail line.

“On the PFL, be­cause there is one view that it will re­move trucks from lo­cal roads, we as a lo­cal coun­cil would be ir­re­spon­si­ble if we did not con­sider it,” Mrs Dawkins said.

De­mo­li­tion work at Catlex’s de­pot next to the road re­serve last week.

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