Rockingham residents call for Garden Island Highway to relieve Parkin Street congestion

Parkin Street residents Ian and Rosemary Saggers.
Parkin Street residents Ian and Rosemary Saggers.

ROCKINGHAM residents have raised concerns about traffic congestion on Parkin Street and are calling for the Garden Island Highway to be built.

Ian Saggers sent a petition about the Parkin Street traffic issues to City of Rockingham chief executive Michael Parker. The petition had 113 signatures.

At the City of Rockingham August 28 meeting, Mr Saggers said there were high volumes of traffic using Parkin Street to access Garden Island.

Ian Saggers said traffic had become congested on Parkin Street.

“The traffic has not only created unbearable noise pollution, but is also causing delays for people leaving their homes or adjoining streets safely,” he said.

“The situation has now become even more dangerous with the need for street parking as the housing becomes more dense.

“This is also combined with the need to have heavier traffic using the road to service Garden Island along with the trucks that use the same route 24-hours a day to access the sewage treatment plant.

“It is also a major concern that it this same route that is taken when transporting ammunition and explosives to and from the island.

A truck carrying explosives on Parkin Street.

“The current expansion of the causeway to Garden Island has created a massive increase in the heavily loaded semi trailers carrying granite and soil every day.

Mr Saggers said Parkin Street would be at saturation point with developments at Garden Island, within the Mangles Bay precincts and high-density Navy accommodation at the Palm Beach Caravan Park site.

He said the situation had become urgent and sought council support for the Garden Island Highway to become a priority.

City of Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels said council would review the petition and investigate the local impact of construction traffic. He said the investigation could take up to two months.

“Traffic counts have been completed on Parkin Street to determine the speed, volume and type of vehicles using the road,” Cr Sammels said.

“In the City’s Functional Road Hierarchy, Parkin Street is classified as a District Distributor B road and is designed to carry high traffic volumes travelling to industrial, commercial and residential areas.

“The surge in traffic currently being experienced on Parkin Street is still within its design specifications.”

Cr Sammels said a project is listed in the City’s current Capital Works Program to install a traffic management scheme along Parkin Street between the Patterson Road, Railway Terrace, Kent Street and Parkin Street intersection as well as the Hymus Street, Safety Bay Road and Parkin Street intersection.

“The traffic management scheme will address safety, access and congestion issues in the area, and will be completed in the 2018/2019 financial year.”

Cr Sammels said construction of the Garden Island Highway was not warranted at this time.

“Although it has been identified as a future part of the regional road network and a regional road link to HMAS Stirling, the need for, and timing of, the highway is part of a much broader regional traffic issue

beyond the short term impacts of the construction project currently underway on Garden Island,” he said.

Cr Sammels said the increased traffic in the area was a direct result of the $366 million redevelopment project of HMAS Stirling in progress at the moment.

“This traffic increase is only temporary and is expected to ease once the project is finished in early 2020,” he said.

“Given the cost and timing of major road construction works, the highway is not a viable option to address short term increases in traffic.

“Any proposal regarding the Garden Island Highway also needs to consider the environmental implications on nearby Lake Richmond, which has Commonwealth and State environmental protections.”