City of Wanneroo drives calls for transport overhaul

WANNEROO City Council will consider calling for more major transport links and a regional airport within its boundaries at its meeting tonight.

Councillors will consider the State Government’s draft Public Transport Plan (PTP) for Perth in 2031.

City staff recommended that the plan be “strongly supported”, although several concerns were raised.

At last week’s briefing session, city growth manager Mark Dickson said there was only one proposal related to Wanneroo in the first stage of the draft plan, and two in the second stage leading up to 2031.

Mr Dickson said the proposals did not go far enough and were “very Perth CBD focused”.

The draft plan proposes extending the northern train line to Yanchep by 2020, with stations at Alkimos and Eglinton.

“It excludes stations at South Yanchep and North Alkimos,” Mr Dickson said.

A staff report to council said there needed to be consistency between this plan, and existing plans endorsed by the City and WA Planning Commission.

“The inclusion of the South Yanchep and North Alkimos stations would increase and better connect the walkable catchments around stations, thereby improving public transport patronage levels and allowing the opportunity for Transit Oriented Development around stations, together with park and ride facilities where applicable,” the report said.

“It is critical that the Alkimos, Eglinton and Yanchep stations are constructed before 2020, as the staging of development in these areas reveals that by 2021, Alkimos-Eglinton will have a population of 16,900 and Yanchep-Two Rocks will have a population of 26,000.”

The report also said greater consideration needed to be given to improving intra- and inter-regional public transport connections, rather than focusing on moving commuters to and from the Perth CBD.

“Given the 60 per cent employment self-sufficiency target specified for the north-west subregion under the WAPC’s Directions 2031 and Beyond document, the draft PTP should focus on improving intra-regional transport links,” it said.

If endorsed by council, the submission will recommend a light rail linking Mirrabooka with Joondalup via the south and central ward suburbs, and a bus rapid transit alignment on Wanneroo and Ocean Reef roads.

Mr Dickson said the final recommendation was to include provision for a potential regional airport, which administration staff recommended locating on post-pine park land north-east of the Neerabup industrial area.

During the briefing, Cr Alan Blencowe said he would not support the recommendation if, as indicated on the submission, the light rail went “straight through brand new homes in Tapping and Ashby”.