PLANS to widen Guildford Road will be scrapped by a new Labor State Government, Mark McGowan has revealed.
Mr McGowan told the Eastern Reporter the plan was causing “unnecessary heartache” to “fix an issue that does not exist”.
“We will not proceed with the Metropolitan Region Scheme amendment that was advertised,” he said.
“Simon Millman and Lisa Baker have presented to me the arguments around Guildford Road very strongly, I have listened to them and I have listened to the community.”
“If we are elected we are not going to engage in the road widening which would destroy homes, impact on local business, and cost the State a lot of money to fix an issue that doesn’t really exist.”
The WA Planning Commission’s proposed amendment to the Metropolitan Region Scheme would apply to Guildford Road from East Parade to the Tonkin Highway, widening the road by up to 10 metres and affecting up to 300 homes and 59 businesses in Maylands, Bayswater and Mt Lawley.
Mr McGowan said traffic flows have improved on Guildford Road since the widening of Great Eastern Highway, and that there was scope to improve the use of public transport and cycle infrastructure.
“Our aim is to get more people out of their vehicles and on to rail. There are already good bike paths and good public transport linkages in the area, particularly if you connect through the bike path along the river or along the rail line,” he said.
“We think the widening is an unnecessarily disruptive plan, and will cause a lot of families and communities heartache and difficulty for no reason.”
Guildford Road resident Graeme Reany said the community “more than welcomes” the news Labor will scrap the plan.
“It takes pressure off the businesses here, and residents will no longer need to stress about it,” he said.
“The community as a whole welcomes this – from a commercial and residential perspective. It’s not only Guildford Road but also the whole community in the surrounding streets.”
Labor candidate for Mount Lawley Simon Millman said that “to the extent there is a problem, the proposed widening would just shift the problem south into Mount Lawley”.
“All this would do is create bottlenecks around the subway at the bottom end of Guildford Road. That subway can not be widened unless you spend millions of dollars on a whole revamp of the infrastructure around the intersection,” he said.
Maylands MLA Lisa Baker told the Eastern Reporter the Maylands precinct needs to be more “pedestrian focused”.
“We do not need a wider, faster road going through the centre of the Maylands precinct. There must be a better alternative. We need to think more about what we are doing with transport infrastructure – and Labor is doing that,” she said.
The Eastern Reporter has asked the State Government for a response. More to follow.