Residents hopeful PFL funds will be deferred towards Bayswater train station upgrades

Bayswater train station.
Bayswater train station.

A BAYSWATER community group says it will welcome funding available after the cancellation of the Perth Freight Link (PFL) to go towards Bayswater station upgrades, including sinking the station.

The State Government pledged $40 million to upgrade the troubled Bayswater train station and town centre during the election and said it would consider sinking the station.

In the Budget released today, the Federal Government was set to re-|direct $1.2 billion previously allocated to the now-canned PFL to other infrastructure projects.

According to the Public Transport Authority (PTA), two tunnel-boring machines would begin tunnelling at Forrestfield from mid-2017, set to break through the tunnel portal at Bayswater in mid-2019.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said she was taking the necessary steps to secure funding for the upgrade of Bayswater station.

“The McGowan Labor Government is committed to station upgrade but the details have not been finalised and largely rely on the completion of the Bayswater Town Centre Structure Plan and available funding,” she said.

She would not comment on whether the sinking of the station was still on the cards.

The City of Bayswater’s draft Bayswater Town Centre Structure Plan – which would set out future development for the station and centre – has been completed and is set to go before the council at a meeting in June before the WA Planning Commission considers it.

Future Bayswater member Paul Shanahan said the group still supported sinking the station and “absolutely” wanted redistributed PFL funds to come to Bayswater.

“The station needs to be upgraded to alleviate traffic issues through town and subway issues, part of the conversation should be sinking the train station,” he said.

“While the machine is in the ground, they could continue the sinking through Bayswater.”

Mr Shanahan said he hoped some of the committed $40 million could be used to “bolster” the “severely undercooked” Bayswater structure plan.

Cr Dan Bull said it was “exciting news” that PFL funds would go to other infrastructure projects and welcomed funding to be committed for Bayswater.

“(However) my view is sinking the station is unviable – focussing on that is wasted energy,” he said.

“Trucks are caught on the extremely dangerous bridge; it’s become a joke, it’s a serious safety concern.”

Cr Bull said his primary concern was making sure the promised train station upgrades could take the significant increase in commuters from the Airport Link, plus from the new spur to Ellenbrook.

He said the upgrades needed to make sure the road and rail were realigned to decrease traffic flow through town centre and also link Halliday Park and Whatley Crescent.

The PTA said the construction of a 500m long and 5m high retaining wall along Railway Parade would begin this month.

Site facilities were set to be established at the corner of Railway Parade and Bassendean Road.

The PTA contracted an arborist to protect vegetation, but some clearing will be required.

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