Midland MLA flags bus concerns

Michelle Roberts.
Michelle Roberts.

MIDLAND MLA Michelle Roberts has accused the State Government of eroding bus services in Koongamia, Darlington and Greenmount.

Ms Roberts said a former bus service via Scott Street in Koongamia was removed last year, inconveniencing many local residents.

Ms Roberts said the new routes were dangerous for many public transport users.

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“They are expected to cross four lanes of traffic to get to these bus stops on Great Eastern Highway,” she said.

“Not only has the bus been changed on Scott Street but now the minister wants to take away the bus service on Old York Road in Greenmount and Darlington, which will have a very sad impact on my constituents.”

Then Transport Minister Dean Nalder said in Parliament Transperth had improved services in the eastern suburbs.

“We have been able to provide a better service as a result of those changes,” he said.

Mr Nalder said Swan Transit, which operates services for Transperth, was concerned about the increase in traffic on Great Eastern Highway and the dangers making a right-hand turn across four lanes of traffic on the route.

‘‘It has been increasingly difficult to make a right-hand turn there due to the volume of traffic,” Mr Nalder said.

“Several safety issues were identified with bus operations at the intersection of Old York Road and Great Eastern Highway. Several options to modify the intersection were considered to improve the safety for buses making a right-hand turn.”

Mr Nalder said the first option was to widen the median strip on Great Eastern Highway by at least six metres to make it large enough to hold buses so that they could make the turn in two movements. The second option was the installation of a roundabout and construction of retaining walls.

Mr Nalder said the bus service was only affected on the route to Midland, not the route from Midland.

He also said that only 16 people were identified as needing to use the service.

Public Transport Authority spokesman David Hynes said:

“Given the risks posed by the route and the number of truck movements on Great Eastern Highway, Transperth was not prepared to jeopardise the safety of a big number of passengers to maintain a low-patronised route through Old York Road, which is an area with little demand”.

Mr Hynes also addressed concerns about the lack of a bus service for students to La Salle College from Jane Brook.

“It is not a sustainable or sensible use of public transport. The PTA cannot be expected to provide a door-to-door service for students,” he said.

He said the PTA was taxpayer-funded and had an obligation to direct its expenditure in a way that would get the maximum return on investment and benefit the greatest proportion of the community.