Horror run on road

Midland police said so far this year there had been a fatality, a serious crash and six other minor accidents along the iconic tourist route and busy thoroughfare.

Police have attributed all of the crashes to inattention and carelessness.

The latest incident occurred last Tuesday when a 79-year-old man driving south on West Swan Road is believed to have crossed into oncoming traffic.

He collided head-on with another vehicle carrying a 77-year-old man and a 73-year-old woman. All three were taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Midland police Senior Sergeant Craig Davis said motorists needed to be particularly careful on West Swan Road.

‘I have no doubt the road’s tourist attractions require people to be more focussed,’ he said.

‘A lot of people who travel on that road are infrequent users and are unaware of their surroundings while they are looking for a particular location.’

Some residents have expressed long-term concerns about the road.

Henley Brook resident Sue Hurt uses the road and cycle path to train for the Ride to Conquer Cancer and said both were hazards.

‘The road is just not made for that amount of traffic,’ she said.

‘It’s single-lane, there’s no slip lane for busy exits, it’s bumper-to-bumper and there’s no lighting at night.

‘I’ve been riding this road for many years and continuously there’s an issue. There are some extremely busy businesses which have no feed lane and a lot of people are getting caught in the middle of the road trying to cross busy traffic.’

Ms Hurt said she had contacted City of Swan about the condition of the path but had given up trying.

City chief executive Mike Foley said the council had already invested significantly in measures to improve safety on West Swan Road, including two roundabouts.

‘The City is also planning an upgrade to the intersection of West Swan and Millhouse roads,’ he said.

There were no plans to install turning lanes into businesses and he urged road users to be mindful of tourist traffic.

‘Long-term planning is for West Swan Road to cease being a through road and return to a tourist route,’ he said.

‘Henley Brook Drive will be upgraded to a dual carriageway to accommodate the commuter traffic.’