HEAVY haulage trucks travelling through Pinjarra are restricting development of the main street.
The Shire of Murray is looking for community guidance over a proposed deviation around the town and hopes residents will put their views in a referendum to run at the same time as the local government elections next month.
A deviation to the east of the town has been discussed for more than 20 years.
Redevelopment would include the river foreshore, historic court house and the Exchange Hotel site.
Shire chief executive Dean Unsworth told a meeting of business people in Pinjarra last night that Pinjarra would grow significantly in the next 40 years, unemployment was high and the town was looking old.
“A year ago we asked residents for their views,’’ he said.
“They wanted to keep the country feel and celebrate Pinjarra’s history and character.
“Pinjarra has loads of heritage but has lost plenty too.”
Mr Unsworth said heavy traffic must be shifted from George Street.
About 9000 vehicles a day use the main street, 630 of which are trucks and 170 of which are heavy haulage.
“It will soon be beyond that,’’ Mr Unsworth said.
“People already take their lives in their hands on the crossing near the Dome where the cannot be seen by truck drivers.”
Mr Unsworth said one of Main Roads WA’s first options would be a roundabout near Lions Park.
“The park will be impacted whatever happens,’’ he said.
He said he would meet soon with Pinjarra Lions Club to discuss the future of the park.
If the deviation vote was positive, he would lobby the State Government for funding.
Reasons for a deviation:
– Improved vehicle access and pedestrian safety in the town centre
– Improved business growth and tourism potential
– Reduced congestion in the town centre
– Increased opportunities for improved street scaping and traffic likely to exceed road capacity by 2023
Reasons against a deviation:
– Will cost the State Government about $27.5 million
– Increase in heavy traffic on Pinjarra-Williams Road
– Impact on Lions Park
– Increased council responsibility and costs to maintain George Street and McLarty Road
– Less opportunity for tourists to make unplanned stops