Proposed widening of Guildford Road set to impact hundreds of Maylands homes and businesses

Resident Graeme Reany on Guildford Road with fellow residents concerned about the proposed widening that will affect hundreds of businesses and residents. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.
Resident Graeme Reany on Guildford Road with fellow residents concerned about the proposed widening that will affect hundreds of businesses and residents. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.

A PROPOSED road widening will have an “extreme” impact on businesses and homes on Guildford Road according to owners, with the WA Planning Commission (WAPC) set to take verges, footpaths and front yards.

The WAPC has proposed a Metropolitan Region Scheme amendment for Guildford Road from East Parade to Tonkin Highway, in order to add bus queue jumps, on-road cycle lanes, a median strip and minimum 4.1 verges with shared paths and street trees.

According to draft plans, the road will be widened up to 10m, impacting 300 homes and 59 businesses in Maylands, Bayswater and Mt Lawley by cutting into verges, front yards and in some case buildings.

If it goes ahead, MG Shop, Rifo’s Café and Studio 281 are among buildings that may require partial demolition.

Graeme Reany, who owns a house on Guildford Road, said the proposed works would encroach 6.3m on his existing footpath and verge, bringing the edge of the footpath to his window.

He said a letter was posted to residents as the festive period began; giving people little time to comment on the amendment.

“(It was) received on the 22nd and 23rd, when most people were away – until 1pm yesterday, the Buddhist temple (Fo Guang Shan Temple) wasn’t even aware that this was happening,” Mr Reany said.

“They lose their footpath; they lose the front fence and part of the way into a parapet wall.”

Mr Reany, who has started a petition and will host an emergency community meeting tonight, said there had actually been a reduction in traffic on Guildford Road.

“According to Main Roads, from Tonkin to Whatley the traffic has gone down from 33,000 cars, reduced by 1.5 and 8 per cent,” he said.

“There were eight insets for buses, near the aged care and commercial properties, Main Roads filled in one and put in a pedestrian crossing – now they’re saying there’s not enough.”

Mr Reany said some homeowners cried when he went around with the petition.

“I had people crying… people showed me the land they bought two months ago, which would now be lost,” he said.

“The impact is extreme.”

However, according to WAPC report, Guildford Road currently had unsafe pedestrian paths, lack of cycling facilities and “limited number of bus bays which allow buses to pick up passengers without obstructing motorists.”

“It does not encourage the sense of pedestrian safety where pedestrians are close to the traffic,” the report stated.

“There are also no dedicated on-road or off-road cycling facilities, resulting in road safety concerns.”

Maylands MLA Lisa Baker said if elected at the State election in March, Labor would review the proposed widening.

“WA Labor will make absolutely sure this is reviewed immediately,” she said.

A community meeting is set to be held on Guildford Road tonight at 6pm.

Questions have been sent to the Department of Planning.