Heavy blow for light rail plan

A Department of Transport spokesman confirmed last week the Government would not continue the Public Transport Plan for Perth 2031 and the Moving People Network Plan, instead pursuing the new Perth Transport Plan for 3.5 Million People and Beyond.

The scrapped initiatives included plans for light rail.

The spokesman said findings from the two scrapped transport projects would be used to develop the new transport plan.

Mr McGowan said Perth�s congestion would continue to become worse without a consistent plan for public transport.

�Even though they didn�t stick to the plan, it was gathering dust for four years before it was officially dumped, this is definitely the nail in the coffin for MAX Light Rail,� he said.

The spokesman said the department would consider bus rapid transit in comparison with light rail in the coming months, after the Government initially deferred light rail plans for three years in 2013.

�This analysis will inform further project development when it resumes in the 2016-17 financial year, as per the 2013 announcement,� he said.

City of Stirling planning director Ross Povey welcomed the latest transport plan announcement and said it should be developed in collaboration with local government.

Mr Povey said he hoped the new transport project could result in the future implementation of light rail.

�Moving towards 2031 housing targets of increased density in the City of Stirling, infrastructure and public transport is key to these targets becoming a reality including � in the long-term � the provision of light rail,� he said.

Mirrabooka MLA Janine Freeman said the future looked grim for MAX Light Rail and questioned why the State was allocating funding for new road projects.

�It�s pretty clear to me that in cancelling the plans, while announcing $2 billion of new road projects, that this Liberal Government, as others have in the past, put roads ahead of rail, failing in their promise to deliver light rail and to fix congestion,� Ms Freeman said.