LEADING planners allege that incomplete and outdated methods were used to measure traffic for the proposed Perth Freight Link (PFL), which could treble the number of containers through North Fremantle by 2038.
“This part of the (PFL) journey is the most congested and yet the modelling suggested eight minutes time savings for the traffic,” the recent Better Urban Infrastructure – A Freight Plan for Perth briefing paper said.
In 2014, State Government infrastructure advisers advised that Fremantle Port container capacity could reach 1.9 million containers in 2038, and 2.6 million if the wharf became a single terminal.
This month, the Beeliar Group of Professors’ paper was published to counter “emotive and disconnected” arguments about the $1.4 billion PFL that currently stops 2.4km from the port.
Authors – Curtin University’s Peter Newman, Hassell infrastructure principle Chris Melsom, urban strategist Mike Mouritz and infrastructure adviser Cameron Edwards – want debate on proposals for a second port restarted after analysis stopped in 2014, when the Federal Government indicated its support for the PFL.
“For some reason, this analysis was not provided to the Commonwealth as an alternative to the PFL,” the paper claims.
The State Government was criticised in the paper for using an ageing Regional Operations Model (ROM) for the PFL because the ROM allegedly measures only traffic and not changes in vehicle types on the route, known as “mode shift”.
In 2014, a review by the State Government-backed Planning and Transport Research Centre – operated by UWA, Curtin and Edith Cowan universities – recommended the new Perth Land and Transport Integrated Urban Model (Platinum) be used to equal the world’s best.
However, Platinum was not adopted .
The paper also questioned whether traffic modelling given to Canberra was incomplete because the link’s final Roe 10 section was not designed or planned.
“We also need to remember that part of the existing proposals include other out-of-date thinking including widening Curtin Avenue through the western suburbs and connection to the Stephenson Highway alignment further north,” the paper said.
Transport Minister Bill Marmion and the Department of Transport have been contacted for comment.