Cottesloe ratepayers fearful of traffic conditions if $2b sale of Fremantle Port goes ahead

Picture: Jon Bassett
Picture: Jon Bassett

COTTESLOE ratepayers have warned the proposed $2 billion sale of Fremantle Port could mean a trebling of truck and container traffic past new beachside apartments in Scarborough.

“It’ll be a tripling if the port sale goes ahead, and that’s what we’re saying is going to happen past apartments in Scarborough,” Cottesloe Residents and Ratepayers Association secretary Yvonne Hart said.

In 2015, a Fremantle Port Authority survey found containers comprised 2 per cent, or about 300 trucks, and other heavy trucks additionally about 4 per cent, in the 15,000-strong traffic flowing north along the coast through Cottesloe to and from the port daily.

Main Roads WA forecasts annual container movements rising from about 750,000 to 2.1 million by 2030 if the proposed $2 billion sale of Fremantle Port goes ahead to help reduce State debt now expected to reach $41 billion by 2020.

Most containers continue on West Coast Highway to Scarborough, then east on Reid Highway to northern deliveries.

“I don’t think people realise the volume of trucks that already go up West Coast Highway,” Mrs Hart said.

The port’s sale by a re-elected Liberal Government would be part of its $16 billion public asset sell-off, but Labor is opposed to the port sale.

Stirling Mayor Giovanni Italiano was concerned about the potential impact of more trucks through his redeveloped beachfront.

“If it trebles it’s going to be massive, but until then who knows what is happening with our transport system in the future,” he said.

Scarborough residents fighting more beachside parking and two new beach access roads fear “rat running” beachside on The Esplanade to avoid West Coast Highway congestion, the growth of which new apartment residents and developers may be unaware.

“It’s suspected a lot of the traffic changes in Scarborough is trying to ‘help’ is not for cars, but for the flow of trucks on West Coast Highway,” Beach Not Bitumen sustainable transport spokesman Anthony James said.

Mr James said redevelopment attracted more traffic, and solutions should be cap parking, build light rail and high-speed buses, and a better planning for trucks across Perth.

“But the awareness among apartment residents of more trucks by 2030 in Scarborough is negligible, and it could end up being like when people moved into inner-city suburbs and then started complaining about pubs’ noise,” Mr James said.

The Liberal and Labor parties were contacted for comment.