Councils warn of waterfront gridlock
Councils warn of waterfront gridlock

Local councils have warned of traffic chaos and gridlock if the State Government allows the Perth waterfront development to go ahead before secondary road works such as the widening of Graham Farmer Freeway are completed.

The mayors of seven inner-city councils - Belmont, Cambridge, Nedlands, South Perth, Subiaco, Victoria Park and Vincent - say a minimum level of ancillary road work, including an extra lane in both directions on the Graham Farmer Freeway and the widening of Loftus and Thomas streets, must be finished before Riverside Drive is closed.

Vincent mayor Alannah MacTiernan said while the councils did not share the same opinions on the waterfront development itself, they agreed on the timeline for construction.

"I, personally, support the waterfront development but I have come together with these other mayors because it is absolutely critical that the Government make sure they do all the collateral spending that needs to be done to ensure traffic doesn't come to a halt," she said.

"There is a minimum amount of work that has to be completed before they close Riverside Drive. The waterfront project is a big city style development and you have got to have a big city public transport network to support it."

In addition to road widening, the mayors listed planning a light rail route and building a train station at South Perth as projects that must be completed before Riverside Drive was closed.

Planning Minister John Day said he expected the widening of Graham Farmer Freeway to be completed "about the same time" as Riverside Drive closed in the middle of next year but could not guarantee all ancillary road works would be finished.

Lobby group the City Gatekeepers hosted a rally against the waterfront development yesterday morning. The group's spokesman Linley Lutton estimated 2000 people attended the protest on Esplanade Reserve but Mr Day's office claimed the figure was closer to 500.

Mr Day said plans for development had been talked about for more than 20 years and extensive consultation with the community had taken place since 2007. He said works would start in April.

The West Australian

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