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High Street upgrade options queried


Comments: 11 readers have left a comment

At the crossroads: Karl Paterson, Abigail Paterson, Brigit Trueman-Healy, Lois Achimovich, Annolies Truman and Alison Bullock. At the crossroads: Karl Paterson, Abigail Paterson, Brigit Trueman-Healy, Lois Achimovich, Annolies Truman and Alison Bullock.

THE UPGRADE of Fremantle’s bustling High Street is back on the agenda, with local residents concerned about the State Government’s plans and the Mayor calling a meeting of stakeholders.

During the Gibson Park precinct’s last meeting, documents – dated April 2010 – were tabled from the WA Planning Commission that decided road reserve should be kept for Option 4 and Option 5.

“The Infrastructure Co-ordinating Committee supports the proposal that a road reservation be defined that can accommodate both Options 4 and 5 and that this becomes the basis for an MRS (Metropolitan Region Scheme) amendment,” read the decision sheet.

Planning Minister John Day said although there was an Option 5, there were only four options, as the third option had been eliminated.

He said any future developments would include public consultation with key stakeholders, but the Department of Transport was currently undertaking preparatory work for the “initiation” of a MRS amendment.

Option 5, prepared by Main Roads WA, mirrors Option 4 except for a grade separation proposal at three High Street intersections – with Stirling Highway, Carrington and Marmion streets.

Mr Day said this allowed for improved through traffic movement.

Gibson Park precinct committee member Annolies Truman said she was concerned that the fifth option was happening by “stealth”.

“The community has voted for Option 4, we do not want an Option 5 slipped in,” she said.

Ms Truman said she was most concerned about the possibility of High Street becoming eight-lanes wide and thought the idea was to decrease traffic, not increase it.

One reference group member, David Isles, called it the “bells and whistles” option, but thought it had the same negative impact as Option 4 on people’s homes, the golf course and the natural environment.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt was aware of Option 5, and while he thought it was better than Option 4, he was unsure how realistic it was because of the enormous cost. “Option 5 means that we need to re-open the community consultation again,” he said.

In an effort to get the road improved “sooner rather than later,” the Mayor called another meeting with stakeholders yesterday.

He said council would insist on a proper cost-benefit analysis.

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What everyone else is thinking



At a time when there is a push on to reduce overhead power and put it underground we now have people that want to put up more overhead wires that could obstruct emergency fire vehicles and cause an obvious danger to cyclists and wheelchairs crossing the rail tracks.

June Gamblin


Light Rail please, don't spoil our lovely space with more/wider roads.

Thank you.



Fremantle being a Labor area the hall would have been stacked to the rafters with Labor voters against a Liberal State Government that is in favor of finishing the Roe highway.

Barry Healy


Steve has hit the nail on the head about trucks and rail.

Some of the most obnoxious trucks going to the Port are those hauling scrap metal. The rail freight line goes right past there. There is no excuse for those trucks to be on the road.

The same with the live animal export trucks. If those exports have to happen (which is debatable), then the animals should be marshalled at Midland and taken to the boats by train.

Believe it or not there is wheat being shipped through Fremantle by container, which must be one of the most inefficient transport options available.

The one or two kilometres of super highway between Carrington Street and the bottleneck at the Stirling Highway Bridge will cost somewhere up to $150 million. Fixing up the entire WA country rail network would cost around $90.

There is no excuse for containers of wheat to go by truck through Fremantle.

Freight rail is available now to relieve traffic pressure.



The sensible solution IMO would be to use trains to take all containers to the Freo port, this is being done now with containers with freight, chemicals and lead going to the port, the train line is there now, so use it more. Sure, this is bad news for truckies who will be left to find other ways to earn $$, but to use trains will also cut pollution to the benefit of the community. And as I have many times seen speeding trucks running red lights on Leach Hwy heading towards Freo, it would be safer for all if these container trucks were removed completely from our roads. We need less heavy traffic=less pollution. A light rail is no good if it does not get a dedicated lane with barriers, or inconsiderate car drivers will just block the light rail and it'll still be a victim of congestion. But then again, more fuel consumption=more GST and other taxes, so I know politicians will do nothing about it, they are to busy lining their pockets and looking after themselves.



Barry, how could you be so unaware of the amount of vehicles that now use Hampton road, Montreal street,Swanbourne street, Wood street and others cutting freo in half, vehicles that should be on The Fremantle Eastern Bypass. The bypass that could also link Freo port to the proposed new outer port further south where there is said to be a conflict of interest by some people against Roe 8.

Barry Healy


The massive expansion of the High Street/Stirling Highway corridor is specifically in response to projected increases in truck movements to and from Fremantle Port. How could you be unaware of that? The authorities have made no plans for long term transport of goods going through the Port.

They simply assumed that building an eight lane freeway through to the Port is acceptable and they can get around any objections.

Our roads could cope with local traffic, trades people and local business needs very easily if the heavy cargo traffic went onto freight rail and car movements through the area were reduced by building light rail.

About 100 people gathered at Fremantle Town Hall the other night to discuss all this. It is an idea whose time has come.



Barry, there is more to this than the trucking industry. The Roe highway is needed now more for the ever increasing domestic and small business operators traffic that can not go on your frieght rail or even light rail. What do you realy expect people to do and that includes all the tradies that need these roads to do, leave their vehicles somewhere up in the hills, load all their luggage and tools onto busses and light rail then get taxis to where they need to go !

Barry Healy


If the answer to freight movements to and from Fremantle Port is trucks, pollution and mega-roads then the question is stupid.

Heavy rail for the freight is needed to eliminate the trucks and light rail is needed to get the cars off the road.

The huge crowd at Fremantle Town Hall last night discussing light rail proposals shows that people want sensible solutions, not freeways.

The closing off of the road options due to popular pressure should make the Department of Transport and the government wake up to their responsibilities.



Put the blame squarely where it belongs on the people that blocked The Fremantle Eastern Bypass going south from the end of Stirling highway across to Rockingham and Cockburn roads then east to the end of Roe 8 at Stock road. It's still not too late to do it that way and never will be to late. People said the bypass would cut Freo in half, well now the joke is back on them as Hamptom road gets more traffic cutting Freo in half. The Bypass could be through a covered trench or tunel under new developments for most of it under the higher ground with local roads over the top.

Barry Healy


The state government and the Department of Transport have been quite deceptive around the High Street issue. Extensive community consultations were conducted, but only to wear down opposition and force agreement to an option that would allow the bulldozers to roll. That was Option 4.

Before even the first sod of earth has been turned on that the Department has quietly pulled Option 5 out of its back pocket, which will carve an eight lane freeway through the heart of Fremantle – with provision for making it ten lanes!

As obnoxious as that is, it is nothing compared to the disregard of the diesel pollution that their increased truck traffic will create. The carcinogenic particles produced by the filthy diesel trucks plying that road are so microscopic that they pass through the lung into the lymphatic system.

The Department of Transport’s plans are not a solution to the problem; they are part of the problem.

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