STATE Government budget talks may quicken completion of the missing Cottesloe section of the Perth to Fremantle commuter bike path but there are no tenders to finish the much-wanted route later this year.
“We will be seriously considering the timing of this project as part of upcoming budget processes,” Transport Minister Rita Saffioti told the Western Suburbs Weekly.
Ms Saffioti did not say whether recent lobbying in the Cottesloe by-election and two recent cyclists crashes in Cottesloe had made the Government reconsider previous budgeting for the section to be done in about four years as part of $129m for cycling that was announced last September.
“The State Government has committed to building principal shared path (PSP) between Grant Street and North Fremantle by 2021,” she said.
The Department of Transport (DoT) is currently doing detailed designs for any PSP between Grant Street in Cottesloe to Victoria Station in Mosman Park.
The remainder of the route south to Tydeman Road is only in its feasibility design stage because of claimed difficulties with how the route relates to wider plans including any future realignment of Curtin Avenue.
“There is no tender currently planned for release,” a DoT spokeswoman said.
She said the times for missing PSPs were reviewed annually, and a Glendalough Station to Erindale Road PSP on the Mitchell Freeway, and the Grant Street to North Fremantle PSP, remained the highest priorities.
PSP campaigner Michael Thomas said indications of earlier funding for the missing Cottesloe to North Fremantle section meant it was crucial cyclists told their MPs and Ms Saffioti how much the western suburbs route was needed
Cottesloe has the second-highest bike crash statistics in Perth, and lobbyists claim this is partly because rider have to use truck and car-congested Curtin Avenue through the town.
“Cyclists are 15 per cent of those hospitalised after crashes in WA, yet cycling is only 1 per cent of the State road spending,” Mr Thomas said.
He said while he would welcome the PSP only going to Victoria Station, a complete route into North Fremantle would provide safe commuting and school rides, while also allowing cycling tourism on a PSP path from Perth, past west coast beaches, to Fremantle.