Hunt on for solutions to Stirling Hwy intersection traffic

Truck and cars mix at the Stirling Highway-High Street intersection. Picture Jon Bassett
Truck and cars mix at the Stirling Highway-High Street intersection. Picture Jon Bassett

SIMPLER solutions are being sought for dangerous Stirling Highway intersections choked by port container traffic after the demise of the complicated Perth Freight Link (PFL).

“The logic is to do the minimum we can, given Fremantle Port container traffic will ultimately be capped,” Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt told the Western Suburbs Weekly.

Last week at East Fremantle’s Stirling Highway-High Street intersection, car drivers were causing trucks to brake dangerously, pedestrians were dodging right-turning trucks and cars were sandwiched between trucks preventing smooth left turns.

Dr Pettitt proposes considering a “$20 million-$30 million” improvement at the intersection, so trucks could go faster on a safer new bend.

Before the PFL, a concept dubbed Option 4 would have created a large interchange at the intersection and cut into Fremantle’s nearby golf courses.

Dr Pettitt said the PFL’s demise and a State Government commitment to a second port made the design “intrusive and expensive”.

He said there was now time to investigate alternative designs that included safety for nearby Leach Highway netballers, allow the golf courses to operate and reduce noise and pollution.

The council could also lobby for improvements to the dangerous Stirling Highway-Tydeman Road intersection if asked by North Fremantle residents.

North Fremantle Community Association convenor Gerard Macgill said there was an “urgent need” to improve the intersection for southbound trucks after several rollovers, in addition to pedestrian safety at Queen Victoria Street and coordination of traffic lights.

WA Road Transport Association executive officer Cam Dumesny said it started renewing its ideas for improving truck travel between Tydeman and High roads last week, because getting products to the port was half the cost of shipping it to China.

Transport Minister Lisa Saffiotti said she would meet Dr Pettitt in coming weeks to “work together” on a traffic safety and efficiency solution, while also seeking Federal Government funds that in “an ideal world” could allow works to start in late 2017-18.

However, Ms Saffiotti said Canberra initially approved funds for Option 4 and any new plans, including potential improvements at Tydeman Road, would first have to be discussed and worked on.