Locals angry over cancelled bus route

Passengers boarding the 456 bus to Greenwood station.
Passengers boarding the 456 bus to Greenwood station.

In response to requests from the community, route 456 was expanded from a weekend-only service to a daily service on a trial basis in April last year.

‘Despite the fact that it was heavily promoted by both the City of Joondalup and Transperth, the route did not meet the required patronage targets and was withdrawn on Sunday,’ Transperth spokesman David Hynes said.

‘On average, there were 2.8 passengers per journey ” simply not enough to justify the operation of the route.’

He said these resources could now be allocated to areas with greater demand.

However, Keep the 456 bus group spokeswoman Jenny George said the service had experienced a slow but steady growth during its year of operation and it was ‘a very strategic route for the northern corridor of Perth, its businesses and its accessibility’.

‘Hillarys Boat Harbour is such a popular destination and its carpark is often full,’ she said. ‘Both visitors and locals desire a simple and direct public transport option to visit,’ she said.

Ms George said 280 local residents and business people had signed a petition opposing the withdrawal of the direct bus route.

‘The Public Transport Authority (PTA) has unfortunately tried to present that numbers using the bus are not adequate comparing the passenger numbers from one 4km one-way only trip to other routes such as another local bus running for 40 minutes through a 10km catchment,’ Ms George said.

She said there had been no community consultation.

‘Locals without cars, including many students and those people committed to sustainability, did not have a choice or a voice under the way PTA chose to stop the important bus route,’ she said.

‘A dedicated bus running up and down Hepburn Avenue from the train station to the harbour is an obvious and necessary part of Perth’s public infrastructure.’

Mr Hynes said passengers who used route 456 could use routes 423 (between Stirling and Warwick stations) or 458 (from Whitfords station to Scarborough Beach) to get to Hillarys Boat Harbour.

The Transperth website said these routes did not travel via Greenwood station.