Southeast forgotten in transport plan

Southeast forgotten in transport plan

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The Armadale to Byford and Thornlie to Cockburn rail line extensions are officially on the State Government’s agenda but level crossings like Denny Avenue are not a high priority, according to the recently released Perth transport plan.

The long awaited Perth Transport Plan for 3.5 Million and Beyond was unveiled on Friday and covers all modes of transport from cycling to freight rail and proposes upgrading highways to freeways.

But with no funding or definitive timelines announced with it the opposition said it was a waste of time and money.

Under the plan, the Thornlie to Cockburn line was set for completion when the population reaches 2.7 million, estimated at 2031.

The Armadale to Byford line was set for completion when the population reaches 3.5 million or about 2050.

Armadale Road would also become a light rail or rapid bus transit route to connect Armadale and Cockburn by 2050 and all major highways including Tonkin Highway would be upgraded to freeway standards.

But that is where the plans stop for Armadale residents, with no mention of removing dangerous level crossings on the Armadale line or the construction of an Armadale to North Lake Road bridge over the Kwinana Freeway.

Transport Minister Dean Nalder said improved road and freight networks, tunnels and river crossings would play a part in the future network, keeping the city vibrant, connected and productive.

Shadow transport minister Rita Saffioti savaged the plan and said projects like the Armadale to Byford and Thornlie to Cockburn lines should be built sooner than 2031.

“We see (the Thornlie to Cockburn line) as a stage one priority and we’re disappointed that the government hasn’t seen fit, after eight years talking about it, that they haven’t put a definitive time frame on it,” she said.

“Given the massive growth in that area that project would need to be underway well before then to service the growing community.

“I don’t think general population growth reflects corridor growth, particularly that southeast corridor we know that growth is already there.”

She said Labor’s Metronet plan would systematically remove dangerous level crossings on heritage rail lines like Denny Avenue, whereas the Perth Transport Plan didn’t even mention them.

Member for Burt Matt Keogh said the southeastern suburbs had been left out again.

“This isn’t a plan – it’s a few lines on a map based on ideas that have been floating around the Department of Transport for the past decade, released without any costings or timeframes,” he said.

“Even then most of those lines are centred on the northern suburbs.”

City of Armadale mayor Henry Zelones said he was not worried about the lack of mention of the North Lake Road Bridge because during his conversations with the State Government it had been identified it as a priority.

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