MANNING residents and business owners are calling for more efficient and accessible public transport to service the City of South Perth’s largest project, worth $17 million.
The Manning Community Hub is the City’s biggest investment and was designed to provide the community with a connected and attractive precinct integrating community services and social activities.
The hub, which includes a library, community hall, child care facilities, sports clubs and community groups, opened in 2017 and is serviced by Transperth bus routes 30 and 31.
The routes service Bentley (including Curtin University), Como, Manning, Salter Point and South Perth and connect them to Perth city.
However, O’Brien’s Clothing owner Michael O’Brien said with the hub now a drawcard to the area, public transport needed to better service the area to meet demand and increase accessibility to the area for the elderly.
“Now that the City has built a library, sports club and all the other facilities in the area, it’s becoming a real hub of Manning, which is great, but we have no direct public transport,” he said.
“There’ll be hundreds of people employed here and customers coming here too.
“With Welwyn Avenue now the main street of the hub, there needs to be a bus route that services the area directly, especially so elderly locals who no longer drive can access the library and other facilities.
“It would also take more cars off the road.”
South Perth Mayor Sue Doherty said council had contacted the Department of Transport earlier this year to investigate servicing options to the hub.
“The City strongly encourages Transperth to consider re-directing one or both of its nearby bus routes (30 and 31) to include Welwyn Avenue near the shops to ensure the Manning Community Hub is easily accessible via public transport,” she said.
“The closest bus stop to the Manning Community Hub for bus number 30 is on Marsh Avenue directly after Cloister Avenue in Manning that is a distance of 600m away.
“This equates to an 8-12 minute walk, which can be challenging for many seniors, adults with prams and people with other mobility difficulties.
“Additionally, the closest bus stop to the Manning Community Hub for bus 31 is on Marsh Avenue directly after Conochie Crescent in Manning that is a distance of 500m away a 6-10 minute walk.”
Ms Doherty said construction had also started on the site adjacent to the to the hub, to create 30 new apartments, a medical centre and a child care centre in addition to the Welwyn Street Shopping Centre.
South Perth MLA John McGrath took the matter to Parliament last month, asking for Transport Minister Rita Saffioti to review the Transperth bus routes 30 and 31.
Mr McGrath said with the City of South Perth experiencing an increase in empty nesters, retirees and seniors, public transport options needed to be assessed to accommodate for the ageing population.
In light of a planned residential and commercial development at the hub, Mr McGrath argued that this would be an opportunity for the Public Transport Authority (PTA) to review its routes servicing the Manning and surrounding areas to ensure their effectiveness and accessibility going into the future.
This included considering redirecting one of the bus routes through Welwyn Avenue and providing a bus stop close to the hub.
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said she had asked Transperth to arrange a meeting with Mr McGrath and the Manning Community Hub to discuss options for route 31.
According to a Department of Transport spokesman, the wider Manning area was well serviced by public transport, with five routes making 512 trips each weekday.
“The State Government and Transperth recognise the importance of providing regular accessible public transport for all passengers, particularly the elderly,” he said.