State Government Public Transport Plan

Media Response 22 July 2011
Canning Bridge Canning Highway
Background: The State Government has released its priority projects to meet Perth's public transport needs for the next 20 years. In relation to the City of South Perth, it states "Canning Bridge Station transit interchange is at capacity and requires priority lanes along Canning Highway between Reynolds Road and Henley Street." The light rail link to Curtin University differs from the Knowledge Arc proposal supported by Curtin University last year. There is a plan for a bus rapid transit infrastructure at Canning Bridge before 2020 and "the ultimate network light rail proposal will provide major access to Curtin University from Canning Bridge Station and the CBD via Victoria Park". Bus priority along Canning Highway, Henley Street and Jackson Avenue to link to Canning Bridge Station will be necessary in the short term.

Please attribute the following comments to City of South Perth Mayer James Best:

1) Is the City supportive of the State Government's plan locally? Will it alleviate traffic congestion on local roads?

The City appreciates the visionary plan which sets out, for the first time, a plan that identifies public transport needs over the next 20 year period. The plan recognises that Perth cannot continue to rely on the motor vehicle as the principal means of transportation and proposes significant investment in an expanded public transport network.

At this time, the Council has not considered the State Government's "Public Transport for Perth in 2031" plan. However, the City is generally supportive of any plan that invests money into improving the quality and reliability of public transport involving rail, light rail and rapid transit buses in Perth.

2) Does the City support priority lanes along Canning Highway to ease congestion at Canning Bridge?
The City recognises that the Canning Bridge bus / rail transfer facilities are currently at full capacity and greater investment is required at this location. An upgraded transfer facility with improved bus frequency and reliability is overdue. If priority bus lanes along Canning Highway improves congestion at Canning Bridge, this would be a bonus.

3) Is the City supportive of the proposed light rail link to Curtin University? Or did the City favour the Knowledge Arc proposal?
The City is supportive of the knowledge arc concept which contains a light rail link from Canning Bridge interchange to Curtin University and the City would like to see this section included in the plan as soon as possible. This inclusion will support the planned transport orientated development initiatives planned for Canning Bridge over the next 20 years or so.

4) Should there be a bus priority along Canning Highway, Henley Street and Jackson Avenue to link to Canning Bridge Station in the short term, as recommended by the State Government? What is the City's stance on this?
At this time the Public Transport Plan has not been reviewed by City officers or Council to determine whether the identified transport link between Henley Street and Jackson Road is appropriate for the area. A position paper on the benefits or otherwise of the Public Transport plan, including the proposed connection between Henley Street and Jackson Road, will be formulated for consideration by the elected members of Council at a future meeting. 

5) Is the City disappointed a South Perth train station is not part of the State Government's vision? Is the City consigned to the belief that it is unlikely a station will be built in South Perth in the next 20 years? 
The provision of a railway station at South Perth has been planned since the introduction of the Perth to Mandurah railway line. At the time of constructing the Perth to Mandurah railway line, the Kwinana Freeway was realigned in the vicinity of Richardson Street at an estimated cost of $3 million to allow for the railway station platform to be built. Subsequently, the Public Transport Authority commissioned a project architect to develop concept designs for the new station, with this work being completed in 2009. The design of the railway station was based on the principle that it was a destination rather than interchange and would be un-manned.
The need for a railway station is justified on the basis that the City is proposing to accommodate higher density in and around the site of the proposed train station in line with the objectives of Directions 2031 and precinct planning undertaken for the area. In addition, Perth Zoo attracts in excess of 620,000 visitors annually and parking in the area is becoming increasingly difficult, particularly during the school holidays and staging of major events such as Fiesta and Red Bull etc. To support the need for a railway station at South Perth, the City completed a Business case in 2010 and this identified that the railway station is financially viable.
The City considers that a train station at South Perth is vital to supporting the current and future transport demands of South Perth.  Accordingly, any submission to the State Government on the "Public Transport for Perth in 2031" plan will identify the railway station as being a transport priority.

6) In the report, South Perth is not mentioned re ferries? Should Coode Street jetty be reinstated? Should Mends Street be used as a link to Burswood? 
In terms of public transport, the Swan river is very much underutilised.
The City has long held the view that the Coode Street jetty should be re-opened to use by the ferry. It is possible that a ferry service could be provided to link up major nodes along the Swan and Canning River. The City would support the transport plan accommodating a ferry service if the need is justified from a usage and cost perspective. The ferry service could be further extended to include areas such as Canning Bridge, Burswood and East Perth.

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