Young girl leads fight for footpath along her street

City of Melville administration building.
City of Melville administration building.

AN 11-year-old girl is leading the fight for the City of Melville to continue with its plan to build a footpath along her street.

Not all of her neighbours along Beach Street in Bicton agree though, with two petitions, one signed by nine people and the second signed by 44 people, submitted to the council requesting it to stop its plans.

The footpath is intended to run along the south side of Beach Street, connecting Point Walter Road to Blackwall Reach.

Beth Lockwood took her thoughts to the local council meeting on November 5, where she presented an official deputation asking the authority to continue with its plans on the basis of community safety.

The Santa Maria College student told the Melville Gazette that she wanted the road to be safe for pedestrians and motorists.“There are mums with prams who can’t push it on the grass, so they are forced on to the road and so they are putting themselves and their babies in danger,” she said.

“We have people with canoes going up and down the street as well, and they use the road.”

d496784a Beach St resident Beth Lockwood. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

Beach Street resident Mark McLerie, a City of Melville Residents and Ratepayers Association spokesman, is among those trying to stop the footpath works, which are planned for June-July next year.

“Many residents of Beach Street have lived here for many years and were attracted to the street because of the open, low density, low traffic, lush-lawned tree-lined streetscape and amenity,” he said.

“Unlike gardens and lawns, it is proven that footpaths only have the potential to look worse over time.”

At the November 5 meeting, City asset management co-ordinator Paul Handcock said footpaths allowed people to be safe, were good for people in wheelchairs and the Beach Street footpath was for all residents.

The footpath is set to cost $150,000 and Beach Street was the “most feasible and logical access point” between Point Walter Road and the river.

City officers recommend it proceed and councillors will make a decision at the November 19 meeting.