Outer suburbs drive snarl

The latest Rising Cost of Living report found people living in the outer suburbs have higher rates of car ownership than those close to the city and are forced to drive to work because there isn’t enough public transport.

‘The research clearly shows that the main reason people drive to work is because they don’t have the option of catching public transport,’ Committee for Perth chief executive Marion Fulker said.

‘This means that even as the cost of running a car rises and traffic congestion gets worse, unless public transport services improve, the people living in Perth’s fringe suburbs will continue driving to work.

‘Perth’s metropolitan area now stretches 120 kilometres and an estimated 60 per cent of Perth’s population are living in outer and fringe areas.

‘Until we stop our urban sprawl, the number of cars on the road and the congestion will keep growing.’

Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts said the report highlighted the need to decentralise government services and commerce.

‘The Perth CBD will always be the central business hub of WA, however centralising jobs and limiting people’s choice of living and employment to a central area is not viable,’ Mrs Roberts said.

‘The metropolitan area is growing at an unprecedented rate, with 7800 new families moving into the City of Wanneroo alone each year.

‘This growth will bring with it increased congestion and pressure on metropolitan roads.

‘By broadening the diversity of the greater Perth metropolitan area and creating employment opportunities within the rapidly growing business and residential districts outside of Perth, congestion, as well as the cost of living, will be eased,’ she said.

Mrs Roberts said the State Government should recognise that the future of Perth lay within key economic nodes across the metropolitan area as well as the CBD and improve existing transport options.