Mother of deceased son proposes City of Swan to upgrade cycle path on West Swan Road

The cycle path on West Swan Road splits in two around poles, painted in bright yellow safety colours.
The cycle path on West Swan Road splits in two around poles, painted in bright yellow safety colours.

THE family of Brett Anderson say electricity poles in the middle of West Swan Road's cycle path are a death trap.

Six months ago, Mr Anderson was riding a motorised bicycle on the dual-use path when he hit a pole and later died in hospital.

The pole he hit, near the corner of Cranleigh Street and West Swan Road, is not marked with reflectors or painted yellow, like many other poles along the path.

His bicycle was not fitted with a light and conditions were wet.

His mother Jean Anderson said she could not help but feel her son’s accident should have been avoided.

‘It’s supposed to be tourist attraction but it’s a death trap,’ she said.

‘So many people are killed on the road but never do you expect a person to be killed on the footpath.

‘I’d like to see more lighting and the posts removed before another accident happens and another family has to go through what we did.’

The path was originally built in 2005, with the design agreed upon between City of Swan and the Department of Transport.

According to the City of Swan, limited space on the side of West Swan Road meant the pathway had to be built on either side of the power poles.

City chief executive Mike Foley said the path was safe at night, as long as users rode to the conditions.

‘A suitable bike lighting system is necessary at night when the cyclist will need to ride at a speed that matches the strength of their lighting. It is understood other factors were in play when this accident occurred,’ he said.

Mr Foley said painting the rest of the poles yellow was an ongoing process but removing them was unaffordable.

‘A quick estimate of the cost of providing lighting and underground power is several millions of dollars and there is no money in the budget to fund this,’ he said.

The City did not apply for a share of $1.3 million in funding from Department of Transport for the Perth Bicycle Network.

But it was successful in obtaining a grant of $1.1 million from the department for a shared path on West Parade in South Guildford.

The West Swan Road pathway is part of the Swan Valley Heritage Cycle Trail and Ms Anderson said for this reason the pathway needed attention.

‘I just don’t want the same thing to happen to anyone else. I would like the Mayor or chief executive to walk that path with me and tell me how safe he thinks it is,’ she said.

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