It’s the wrong way to go

Big N chairman Mike Keiller at the intersection of William Street and James Street in Northbridge. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d403687
Big N chairman Mike Keiller at the intersection of William Street and James Street in Northbridge. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d403687

Business Improvement Group Northbridge (Big N) chairman Mike Keiller said opening William Street to two way traffic, and stopping right hand turns from the main road into James Street had decreased the number of people accessing businesses.

He presented the group’s concerns in a petition to the City of Perth.

‘A lot of traders in James Street in particular, and more widely in Northbridge, were upset with the changes and didn’t think there had been enough consultation,’ he said. ‘Initially a lot of the problems were to do with the unfinished works.

‘But the angst about no right turns is continuing.’

Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi said although the right-hand turn from William Street had been removed, a left-hand turn into the street was added for cars travelling north.

She said this had made it easier for vehicles travelling from the city to access James Street.

‘We had to remove the right turn into James Street from William Street because there is insufficient road width to provide a turning lane without removing alfresco and pedestrian footpaths from William Street,’ she said.

‘The City of Perth is committed to the conversion of one-way streets to two-way traffic movements to provide alternative route choices.

‘The City is aware of the concerns from local business.’

Mr Keiller said diverting the routes of some city-bound buses from William Street onto Beaufort Street had also decrease foot traffic into Northbridge businesses.

‘This has had unintended consequences,’ he said.

‘A lot of older people who use the bus service now have to walk through Beaufort Street and the cultural centre,’ he said.

Public Transport Authority spokesman David Hynes said changing these routes had stemmed from the decision to make William Street two-ways.

‘We advised the City that the changes would mean the lanes would be too narrow to send buses down William Street in both directions,’ he said.