Confusion, debate surrounds widening of Guildford Road

Maylands MLA Lisa Baker.
Maylands MLA Lisa Baker.

DEBATE continues around the proposed widening of Guildford Road, with the Maylands Business Association expressing support for some widening, and Labor claiming the Planning and Transport ministers are at odds.

MBA chairperson Michiel de Ruyter said the Association “supports the preservation of heritage buildings and understands the need for roadway improvements”.

“Guildford Road is considered to have an indisputable need for improvement in terms of lane widths, intersection channelisation and pedestrian/cyclist safety. This would be difficult to achieve without discrete road reserve widening and the MBA supports the existing MRS which has provided for road reserve widening in the Maylands town site for many years and has seen the development of properties in line with this road protection plan,” he said

Maylands MP Lisa Baker said the existing scheme would allow for widening of two metres, while the proposed amendment would see widening of six metres and “in some cases, more than ten metres”.

“Our position is that we do not support any change to the scheme that would allow the taking of more land (than the two metres),” she said.

Mr de Ruyter said “In regard to compensation for resumption, we strongly believe that property owners should be paid the full market rate for land regardless if they have set land aside for the future requirements or not”.

WA Labor planning spokesperson Rita Saffioti said “One Minister claims the Government has made no decision in respect to this project, another says there is no way the plan will be scrapped”.

On January 11 Planning Minister Donna Faragher said “no decision has been made on whether or not Guildford Road will be widened at some point in the future”.

Two days later, Transport Minister Bill Marmion was reported as saying the Government had no plans to scrap the proposed widening.

Asked if a decision had been made, the Transport Minister told Community News: “this is a planning exercise to ensure that land for future upgrading of the corridor is protected in the Metropolitan Region Scheme (MRS)”.

Asked to what extent the Government is operating under the assumption the widening will go ahead, Mr Marmion said “This is an MRS proposal to amend the current MRS reservation. This is the opportunity for the general public to comment on the scheme amendment”.

Ms Saffioti said “Labor’s position is clear”.

“We will not proceed with this amendment and look at smarter ways to improve public transport in the area, including investing in the Midland rail line,” she said.