Agreement on Swanbourne bridge too far for councils

Cottesloe and Claremont councillors are split over the best design to replace the old bridge in Swanbourne.
Cottesloe and Claremont councillors are split over the best design to replace the old bridge in Swanbourne.

COTTESLOE councillors think Main Roads’ designs for a new Swanbourne train station bridge are far from the best for residents, leaving them at odds with neighbouring Claremont Council .

“We need a design that unites Swanbourne, not divides it,” Cottesloe councillor Helen Sadler said at the meeting last month.

The current bridge is regarded by some as contributing to the success of the adjacent shopping strip because it sends traffic past shops’ doors.

Main Roads consulted Cottesloe on its four designs because of the closeness of the councils’ border and the bridge’s role connecting the suburbs.

However, the old and new bridge, unfunded but expected to have 50 per cent Federal Government backing, are both totally in Claremont’s jurisdiction.

In June, Cottesloe councillors deferred their decision on preferred designs to seek advice from their public design advisory group for a month.

Claremont has approved option two, which places the new bridge from Saladin Street, south-west over the station to Windsor Street, and with roundabouts to stop congestion caused by intersections.

The design allows the current 1910-built wooden bridge to be used while a replacement is built for taller trains and growth in 3000 vehicles crossing the railway daily.

A staff report said the option provided the safest design with a 40km/h limit, allowed a larger train station, and a decision by councillors would allow Main Roads to start public consultation.

However, Cr Lorraine Young said Main Roads had to be told the council was “not impressed” with any of the options, and Cr Michael Tucak said the wider traffic issues had to be considered.

It was agreed the Minister of Transport be asked to review the new bridge’s planning and role in creating the Swanbourne shopping strip, and ask Claremont to help create a “mutually beneficial” design before its councillors attend a workshop about the bridge.