Hamersley Ave and Beechboro Rd North intersection: parties keep clear of danger zone

Assunta Foti, Nina Borgomastro, Patrica Falleiro, Pawpo Pawpo and Eunice Schulz.
Assunta Foti, Nina Borgomastro, Patrica Falleiro, Pawpo Pawpo and Eunice Schulz.

A GROUP of Morley residents are hoping for a solution to the “dangerous” Hamersley Avenue and Beechboro Road North intersection during the State Election, but major political parties have not given any reassurances.

In November 2016, a residents’ action group was formed to bid for a safe exit on to Beechboro Road after the other exit on Abbey Street was closed permanently due to the construction of the State Government’s NorthLink WA project.

The $1.12 billion project was launched to provide a state-of-the-art transport link between Morley and Muchea.

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The Morley NorthLink Action Group wanted a “Keep Clear” sign before the traffic lights on the Beechboro Road North and Morley Drive intersection, and a U-turn sign before Turon Street.

Main Roads rejected this proposal last year and said the “Keep Clear” sign was not warranted because traffic queues allowed an exit out of Hamersley Avenue and an installation of another U-turn facility would require the removal of trees, which was not favoured by the City of Bayswater.

Bayswater Mayor Barry McKenna said the City was awaiting feedback from Main Roads following its assessment of video footage. On December 6, Council resolved to write to the Transport Minister seeking support for the changes put forward by the Morley NorthLink Action Group.

Group spokesman Ray Falleiro said he had not seen Main Roads staff monitor the area.

“We need something to ensure that the turning lane for the lights should be further away from our street,” he said.

Transport Minister Bill Marmion said the City was responsible for the intersection.

“Following community concerns, Main Roads reassessed the intersection and has concluded it is functioning safely, which is also the view of the City of Bayswater,” he said.

“As a result, no further traffic changes are recommended at this time.”

Liberal Bassendean candidate Jim Seth said the NorthLink WA project would be a “massive benefit” to the community and traffic issues must be taken seriously.

Bassendean MLA Dave Kelly said the intersection was “a tragedy waiting to happen” but would not confirm whether a Labor government would install a “Keep Clear” sign and a U-turn.

Opposition transport spokeswoman Rita Saffioti said if Labor was elected, community access issues in Beechboro, Noranda and Morley would be addressed.

Greens Bassendean candidate Sarah Quinton said there was a lack of adequate transport planning, which caused more traffic congestion and safety issues.

Main Roads did not respond before deadline.

UPDATE: WA Labor has pledged $3.1 million to fix access issues caused by the NorthLink WA project in the eastern suburbs, if elected in the State Election.

WA Labor promised to improve access to Reid Highway from Lightning Park in Noranda, access to Beechboro Road North for residents exiting Hamersley Avenue and access issues to Tonkin and Reid Highway for Bennett Springs residents.

Opposition transport spokeswoman Rita Saffioti said WA Labor would work with contractors of NorthLink stage 1 and NorthLink stage 2 to address access issues raised by the community.

Proposed road changes include a ‘Keep Clear’ sign at the Hamersley Avenue and Beechboro Road North intersection, a U-turn facility to allow a left turn out of Hamersley Avenue and then make a safe U-turn to proceed south on Beechboro Road North.

Labor also promised to keep a slip road for commuters leaving Lightning Park to allow access onto Reid Highway and examine the NorthLink stage 2 contract to provide better access to Reid Highway or Tonkin Highway in Bennett Springs.