A new bridge or tunnel across the Swan River should be considered to ease Perth’s growing traffic congestion, WA’s peak motoring body says.
The proposal is part of the RAC’s “wish-list” submission to both major political parties ahead of the March State election.
RAC head of advocacy Matt Brown said an additional crossing would aim to move traffic around the city, rather than through it.
One proposed crossing was from Stock Road, Bicton to Dalkeith — an idea floated in the 1950s.
It would allow motorists to go north-south without adding congestion to the city centre.
“There are no bridges for the 15-18km between Perth and Fremantle — that’s a long way to travel to cross the river, especially when you compare it with a city like Brisbane that has 16 river crossings,” Mr Brown said.
“As a result, we are seeing roads like Stirling and Canning highways choking up.
“We want the next State Government to conduct a feasibility study to see if another crossing would help congestion and where it might be built to serve Perth’s growing population. And it could be a crossing for general traffic or a green-mode crossing just for buses, bikes and pedestrians.”
Transport Minister Troy Buswell said traffic modelling was done constantly to develop options for managing congestion.
He said the State Government was open to looking at all options.
Shadow transport minister Ken Travers said Labor’s priority was reducing the growth in truck and car numbers on Perth roads, and world-class public transport.
As Perth’s population grows, congestion is expected to worsen.
On Saturday, The Weekend West revealed a record 143,739 additional cars were licensed in WA last year — well ahead of growth projections.
The RAC submission says road, public transport and cycling projects needed to be accelerated for Perth to tackle congestion.
It said congestion was having a major social impact on the quality of life in Perth and damaging economic productivity, the environment and health. It wants:
A light rail system linking the city, northern suburbs and university precincts.
A detailed orbital rail line plan.
The Thornlie rail line extended.
A heavy rail link to Perth Airport and through to High Wycombe.
The Mitchell Freeway extended to Hester Avenue and an extra lane on the Kwinana Freeway to Cockburn.
It also calls on a future government to keep motoring cost increases at or below the rate of inflation.
for a second rescue helicopter for the South West.