Outrage over underpass

Hampton Park Primary School students use the underpass on Tonkin Highway.   |Picture: Andrew Ritchie        www.communitypix.com.au   d442486
Hampton Park Primary School students use the underpass on Tonkin Highway. |Picture: Andrew Ritchie        www.communitypix.com.au d442486

A rally was held at the Morley school last week, with parents outraged that a safety underpass used by many students at the interchange of Morley Drive and Tonkin Highway would be removed as part of the Northlink project.

Main Roads WA responded to the media coverage with a statement that �there are no plans to diminish access to the Hampden (sic) Primary School.�

�In fact, access to the school will be improved with the delivery of the Northlink WA project,� the statement read.

�The current underpass will be retained until a new underpass is constructed as part of the project, possibly in 12 to 18 months time.�

Board chairman Clint Hammond sent a letter to Main Roads, saying the statements contradicted what the school was told and what was on the project website.

�This is the first time that MRWA has stated that the current underpass will remain open until a new underpass is constructed,� he wrote.

�Discussions with MRWA personnel as recently as late July 2015 always stated that the current underpass and associated car park were scheduled to be removed permanently in January 2016.�

In another letter, the school�s P and C president Lana Viska labelled MRWA�s statement �confusing�.

�The media announcement has contributed to the confusion surrounding the proposed configuration for safe access by our students,� she wrote.

�(We have) expressed both disappointment and outrage over the fact our concerns over safety were dismissed as a �political stunt� by the Minister for Transport.

�We would like to highlight that our parent community raised their concerns with their elected members.

�Despite (the) suggestion that our concern of safety was more a case of miscommunication than genuine concern, we can confirm that the parent focus groups� major concern over the project remains safety of our children during and post construction.

�The group feels that previous concerns raised at previous MRWA information sessions were not taken seriously and therefore not reflected in plans that had been shown to us.�