Town Hall was packed on January 31 as transport becomes the hottest issue of the state election. Transport Minister Troy Buswell declined to attend or send anyone in his place. Perhaps not surprising since his government has given the greater Fremantle area next to nothing in its public transport and bicycle plans.
Gaye Page-Burt from Fremantle Road 2 Rail reminded us that getting freight off our roads and on to rail is just as important as moving people. While Mr Buswell has belatedly restored a small rail freight subsidy, Main Roads is pushing ahead with plans to spend billions on facilitating more truck movements to the port.
They are keen to claim a six lane road reserve when they upgrade High St between Carrington St and Stirling Highway. For them High St is the "missing link" in their freeway plans because Stock Rd, Stirling Hwy and the bridge are already six lane reserves. Increasing the capacity of High St by 50% will quickly bring an equivalent increase in traffic, pollution, and road accident trauma.
Main Roads preferred High St upgrade, when combined with widening and flyovers along Stock Rd and the Roe 8 extension would cost around $1 billion. This would be a massive waste of public money, really an excuse to subsidise the road transport and construction industries to the detriment of the environment and community health and safety. Serious investment in rail freight infrastructure would make these freeway plans unnecessary.
There will be a community consultation of the latest Mainroads plan convened by the City on Saturday 2 March. 3:30-5:30pm, Council Reception Room council buildings (enter via stairs and patio at rear of building).