A proposed public transport route that would have diverted buses off Albany Highway and through Cannington suburbs has been rejected by the City of Canning council.
The city’s packed council chambers erupted with applause on December 19 following the 11-0 rejection of a joint city and Public Transport Authority proposal to redirect east-west bound buses off a stretch of Albany Highway and through back roads.
If it had passed buses would have been redirected off Albany Highway at Cecil Avenue down Richmond Street, Carden Drive, Civic Gardens and Fleming Avenue before returning to the regular route on Manning Road.
The PTA claimed the new route could cut up to three minutes off trip times for more than 200 buses travelling between Cannington and Curtin University every day, but resident fears about the route’s impact on a nearby mineral filtering wetland and on house prices led a passionate opposition to the proposal.
The route would have required a re-connection of Civic Gardens and Fleming Avenue, which was closed in 2008 to create a nature strip between Civic Centre Park and the Canning River.
The road link was a major sticking point with residents, who raised concerns it would damage the amenity of the area and could threaten wildlife and plants around the wetland.
Signs opposing the proposal were placed along the impacted roads by a group opposed to the proposal, led by Fleming Avenue resident Jim Rae.
Mr Rae called the decision a victory for democracy.
“Absolutely brilliant, first class,” he said.
“We feel it is a triumph for democracy, not hypocrisy.
“The whole community contributed toward it, people were up all night writing to ministers and councillors.
“It’s people power at its best.”
Canning city officers had recommended council reject the proposal after months of investigation and community consultation.
Councillor Lindsay Holland raised the issue at the meeting and said resident opinions on the issue had been clear.
“It became quite apparent the public did not like this or did not want this,” he said.
“Here we have a very good result for the community.”
Councillor Christine Cunningham represents the Beeloo Ward, which includes Cannington.
Dr Cunningham said the issue had energised the area more than she had ever seen.
“I congratulate my community on getting us to this position,” she said.
“I have never seen the Beeloo community speak louder and run such a defence to their council.”