Local MP says: “Fix Roads First”

South Perth MLA John McGrath has called on the Carpenter Government to fix the road network at Canning Bridge before embarking on its plan to create a vibrant activity centre in and around the station precinct.

He wants the Government to:

  • improve access to Kwinana Freeway from Manning Road; and
  • come up with a plan for Canning Highway,

before committing to the precinct development.

“The Government needs to untangle the road network around Canning Bridge before doing anything else,” Mr McGrath said.

After attending one of two information sessions held by the Department of Planning and Infrastructure on Monday, for landowners and community groups, Mr McGrath said: “I think this will be an enormous challenge for the planners.”

Mr McGrath said the Government planning experts had conceded that the intersection of Manning Road and Kwinana Freeway was “sub-standard”.

“In addition to the problem of accessing Kwinana Freeway from Manning Road, the residents of the South Perth Electorate want to know what is going to happen to Canning Highway,” Mr McGrath said,

“The Highway has for a long time been earmarked as a transport link to the city and planners indicated it could be widened to six lanes, including bus transit lanes.”

Mr McGrath said it was clear that some residents on both sides of the river had reservations about whether a vibrant activity centre could be created at the Canning Bridge bus and rail interchange because of the complex nature of the location, including a tangled road network and its proximity to the Swan and Canning Rivers.

“Before we start worrying about density I think the planners need to tell us how they are going to improve the management and functioning of the station,” he said.

The information session was told that the number of travellers (approximately 2,000 a day) has doubled Transperth’s expectations for Canning Bridge station.

“A number of commuters are creating problems for local residents by driving into Como and parking as close as possible to the station,” Mr McGrath said.

“The City has been left to sort this problem out.

“Part of the study being undertaken now will consider whether parking areas can be created. One option is to use land from the freeway reserve.

“I have always had concerns about parking in this area and I think that this option threatens the visual amenity and the health of the rivers.”

Mr McGrath said the study would examine a wide range of planning matters to do with the station precinct, including: urban design, economic  viability, pedestrian access to the station, vehicle circulation, housing diversity, access to the river, precinct character and visual landscape.

“There were a lot of ideas thrown around at the seminar, including a suggestion by the planners that tunnelling, in and around Canning Bridge, be considered to untangle the mess.”

Consultants expect to have a draft plan within a couple of months. The cities of South Perth and Melville are arranging focus groups.

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