Rail waiting game

Rail waiting game

Transport Minister Dean Nalder’s announcement of the opening date for Butler Station, September 21, sparked debate about when the northern rail line would extend to Yanchep.

Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts said a decision to put that extension on hold until after the airport rail link was a blow to local residents.

‘The State Government’s own draft public transport master plan recommended that the Yanchep extension should be completed before 2020 to service our burgeoning community,’ she said.

‘In contrast, the master plan stated that the airport link would not be needed before 2031.

‘This is a massive blow for our northern communities who desperately need rail services in place now.’

Butler MLA John Quigley raised the issue in State Parliament last Thursday, referring to a 2011 State Government report.

‘It was government policy to complete that line to Yanchep by 2020 as a transformational project for Perth,’ he said.

‘The Department of Transport report states that this line of about 11km, even if we double the current prices, would come in at about $400 million.’

Mr Nalder said his focus would be to deliver the Mitchell Freeway extension to the Butler electorate, but he had not cancelled the Yanchep rail line.

‘Yanchep remains a priority for this Government and an important part of our plans to provide for the transport needs of current and future generations,’ he said.

‘We still anticipate this to be a committed project within the next decade.’

Mr Nalder said when Butler Station opened, it would relieve pressure at Clarkson Station and public transport would become a more viable option than driving on the freeway.

Butler’s Brighton Estate developer Nigel Satterley welcomed the early opening date for Butler Station.

North Metropolitan MLC Peter Katsambanis said a new bus service, route 491, would cater for Two Rocks and Yanchep residents.

‘Commuters will be able to access a number of bus feeder services, which will connect with Butler Station, in addition to the uninterrupted pedestrian and cycle path along the rail line from Manasota Approach,’ he said.

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