Shorten’s Roe Highway cut a blow for Fremantle

Shorten’s Roe Highway cut a blow for Fremantle

BILL Shorten’s announced intention of taking $1 billion from Fremantle’s survival transport plan and reallocating the government funds to more affluent inner-city suburbs is a severe blow for Fremantle.

The Roe Highway should be seen as Fremantle’s last glimmer of hope.

I am a professional pilot and fly regularly out of Jandakot Airport, and have done so for 45 years. What I see as I look down on the Roe to the east is that it is the only highway that connects directly with all the main highways coming into Perth – the Great Northern, Great Eastern, Albany and the South Western.

In addition, I notice that the ratio of traffic on the Roe is 23 cars to every one truck. This has been the case for several years.

Imagine all those travellers and tourists arriving at Fremantle’s city gates. It is certainly not a highway to nowhere.

As I fly over the port, I do not see truck congestion over the Stirling Bridge and the port itself appears a lot less busy than it was 10 years ago. I guess more cargo is now flown out of Perth Airport with the proliferation of wide-body jets.

Let us look at a bold plan to revive the city.

Do not panic about all these potential visitors (consumers); accommodate them.

With private enterprise, build multi-storey car parks on the city perimeters, down by the passenger terminals and on vacant land to the south.

Provide high-frequency city hop-on buses connecting the parking stations to all points of interest around the city.

Cruise ship passengers will use the service as well.

Encourage international hotels to be built, offering expansive views over the harbour and Sound with abundant underground parking.

Let us take advantage of what the Roe Highway can offer; bring back the people and encourage the businesses to stay and prosper.

Revive the city.

JOHN DOUGLAS, Alfred Cove.