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.