Lo­cals driven to edge

Cockburn Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Ben Smith

IL­LE­GAL driv­ing, a peakhour rat-run and dump­ing ground for lit­ter; this is the night­mar­ish re­al­ity fac­ing fed-up res­i­dents who live off Laud­erdale Drive in Suc­cess.

It has been two years since an in­ves­ti­ga­tion found a bus-only laneway link­ing the res­i­den­tial street to Au­bin Grove Train Sta­tion was be­ing used al­most ex­clu­sively by cars rather than the buses it was de­signed for.

Those whose houses back on to Laud­erdale Drive are at their wits’ end, sick of the high-vol­ume of cars and dan­ger­ous driv­ers us­ing the street as a ra­trun.

Ch­eryl Par­sons said her daugh­ter was al­most hit two weeks ago, with the heavy traf­fic mak­ing it a risk for pedes­tri­ans.

“The road was wet, the car jumped on to the foot­path and she had to jump off the foot­path be­cause they were driv­ing so crazy,” Ms Par­sons said.

“There should be no traf­fic if that’s closed, but we’ve seen so many peo­ple nearly hit.”

In Septem­ber 2017, a City of Cock­burn traf­fic count found the bus en­try lane it­self had 852 ve­hi­cles per day as the av­er­age week­day count, with just 8 per cent heavy ve­hi­cles such as buses.

A 2017 PTA Road Safety Au­dit of Au­bin Grove Train Sta­tion noted the bus lane in ques­tion could be used as a short cut for driv­ers to ac­cess Rus­sell Road and Went­worth Pa­rade.

Ms Par­sons’ neigh­bour Me­lanie Gom­pertz sug­gested the Pub­lic Trans­port Au­thor­ity in­stall boom gates to pre­vent the in­flux of traf­fic, but their pleas have so far gone un­heeded.

“Transperth made it very clear they didn’t want a rat-run go­ing through their carpark, but they’ve been al­lowed to make a ra­trun down a res­i­den­tial street,” she said.

Pub­lic Trans­port Au­thor­ity (PTA) spokesman David Hynes con­firmed they were aware of the is­sue but said they did not have the power to fine mo­torists.

“To­gether with the City of Cock­burn, we are work­ing to find a so­lu­tion, which will pre­vent or strongly dis­cour­age mo­torists from us­ing the bus lane to ac­cess the sta­tion, or as a rat-run be­tween Laud­erdale Drive and Rus­sell Road,” he said.

“We strongly urge all driv­ers us­ing this carpark to be con­scious of their own safety, and the safety of other driv­ers and bus pas­sen­gers, and fol­low the road rules at all times.”

Mr Hynes said they were dis­cussing a va­ri­ety of op­tions but rerout­ing the 526 bus away from Laud­erdale Drive was not one of them, as it would add about 2.5km to pas­sen­gers’ jour­ney.

Cock­burn MLA Fran Lo­gan has raised the is­sue with Trans­port Min­is­ter Rita Saf­fi­oti and called on the PTA for a rem­edy.

City of Cock­burn Coun­cil­lor Lara Kirk­wood said the coun­cil was also hav­ing to deal with pot­holes and rub­bish.

Pic­ture: Ben Smith

Muham­mad Asif, Me­lanie Gom­pertz, Peter Minchin, Ch­eryl Par­sons and Lara Kirk­wood at the bus-only lane.

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