Murdoch Drive Connection: Melville mayor and Cockburn councillor claim State Govt influenced plans to funnel traffic into Melville

The Murdoch Drive Connection plan is a disappointment, says Cockburn deputy mayor Matthew Woodall
The Murdoch Drive Connection plan is a disappointment, says Cockburn deputy mayor Matthew Woodall

COCKBURN councillor Steve Portelli has joined Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey in claiming new plans for the Murdoch Drive Connection that funnel traffic away from Farrington Road and into Melville were influenced by the State Government and are bad for motorists.

Both men claim Main Roads WA representatives told them “politicking” had resulted in a proposal to convert Bibra Drive into a cul-de-sac, eliminating its intersection with Farrington Road.

Cr Portelli said Cockburn council received a Main Roads briefing earlier this month to explain the changes.

“At the briefing they said politics had come into it and this was the scenario they’d come up with to make sure Farrington Road doesn’t become a de facto Roe 8,” he said.

“I said to Main Roads that Roe 8 would have fixed all this and they said they couldn’t comment on that.”

Asked whether the State Government had intervened to change plans favoured by Main Roads, spokesman Dean Roberts said the organisation “received feedback and recommendations from a range of local stakeholders, including the State Government and are currently considering feedback”.

Mr Roberts also said the original concept plan was developed as part of Roe 8.

“Subsequent modelling indicated that without Roe 8 to carry east-west traffic, this concept would place significant pressure on the intersection of Murdoch Drive and Farrington Road, as well as two other intersections located within 150 metres,” he said.

“This has necessitated the incorporation of a flyover at Farrington Road.

“A cul-de-sac on Bibra Drive is under consideration in order to restrict direct traffic movements to and from Farrington Road.

“We sought the views of the local community on the proposed cul-de-sac at our information session and are currently considering feedback.”

Mr Aubrey said changes to the original plans, favoured by both he and Cr Portelli, were an attempt to try and prevent westbound traffic from accessing Farrington Road at the expense of Melville’s Murdoch Drive and Leach Highway.

“A lot of that traffic of course is heading towards Cockburn, to the industrial estates and employment areas in the mornings and people returning home in the evenings,” he said.

“To make their journey convoluted and send them through one of the busiest areas in the City of Melville is destructive to the road network as we know it.”

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the State Government had consulted with both the Cities of Cockburn and Melville and that a number of proposals had been discussed.

“I want a project that reduces congestion and improves connectivity to the Murdoch Activity Centre for local traffic,” she said.

“We will continue to work on the planning and modelling for this project until we reach the right solution.”

MORE: Police uncover $1.6 million cash after stopping hire car in Perth

MORE: Cyclist dies after hitting bus in Melville

MORE: Homeless woman is now ‘Set For Life’ after Lotto win