Manning Road On-ramp

Media Response 2 April 2008

Background: Do you have a recent press release from John McGrath regarding the Manning Road offramp issue? I would like to get a comment from the Mayor on the issue.

Please attribute the below information to City Mayor James Best.

The City endorses Mr McGrath’s views regarding the construction of a Manning Road on-ramp to access the freeway south and has been in communication with the Minister regarding this issue since January 2007, following a motion passed by Council in December to follow up on the matter.

This has been an on-going issue since the Freeway was extended south of Canning Bridge. It adds travelling time both for motorists who are trying to travel south on the Kwinana Freeway from Manning Road as well as adding to the travel time for those using the interchange at Canning Bridge. Motorists wanting to get onto the Freeway south from Manning Road in fact have to drive north up to the Canning Highway Overpass before they can then head south down the ramp onto the Freeway, leading to greater congestion on this Overpass.

To avoid this considerable delay and inconvenience because there is no ramp from Manning Road, a large number of motorists use Ley Street, Henley Street, and Canning Highway which results in a higher traffic density on these local residential streets. The benefits of a ramp include improved safety for motorists, less traffic congestion and better access to name but a few. Countless numbers of vehicles daily make confused and dangerous moves such as reversing on ramps, making U-turns at inappropriate locations and undertaking last minute lane changes because drivers do not understand a particularly confusing and frustrating traffic layout.

The Department of Planning and Infrastructure is at present undertaking the Canning Corridor Study which complements the Bentley Technology Precinct Study. Both these projects will address the on-ramp (as it forms one of a number of nodes along Manning Road requiring consideration) from a traffic perspective and should include cost implication and economic opportunities.

One option for the ramp would require the acquisition of certain properties to secure the necessary road reserve and the negotiations to acquire the properties would be expected to take some time. Bearing this in mind, and considering that studies are currently in progress for Technology Precinct and the Canning Bridge Train Station, as well as the significant increase in size of the precinct and Curtin University over the next 10 years - the planning and land acquisition needs to start without protracted delays.

The City was advised by the office of the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure last year that the cost of the plans involving the acquisition of the property was high and could not be justified at the time, ahead of other priorities. It was further advised that the Western Australian Planning Commission and DPI had been asked to initiate an urgent review of the on-ramp design to see if there was an alternative available but we have not been advised if this review has been undertaken, and if so, what the outcome was.

The absence of a simple, logical means of turning south from Manning Road reduces traffic efficiency and with the higher traffic load associated with developments in the area more and more drivers heading South find will themselves in contention and conflict with other traffic streams. In the interests of road safety this matter is a priority and needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. 

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