State Budget: Ellenbrook fast bus service to be paid for with funds from delayed Curtin Avenue widening

State Budget: Ellenbrook fast bus service to be paid for with funds from delayed Curtin Avenue widening
State Budget: Ellenbrook fast bus service to be paid for with funds from delayed Curtin Avenue widening

STATE Budget papers show the State Government is paying for most of a proposed $49 million fast bus service near Ellenbrook with $40 million planned for the long-delayed widening of Curtin Avenue.

“Main Roads has reallocated $48 million of expenditure to the Ellenbrook Bus Rapid Bus Transit project in 2016-17 and 2017-18, with $8 million reallocated from operating expenditure and $40 million from the Curtin realignment project,” the May 12 Budget’s Economic and Fiscal Outlook said.

The remaining $1 million was from undisclosed “third parties”. The new 9km cheaper bus route to Ellenbrook replaces a $1.8 billion railway promised by the Government and the Opposition in 2008.

On Curtin Avenue, dealing with rising congestion, dangerous railway crossings and stalled transit-orientated development has been planned, then delayed, repeatedly since the 1990s Servetus Street cutting, where the avenue joins in Swanbourne.

However, in 2013, Mr Barnett announced $40 million to realign about 1km of the avenue into the former Leighton Marshalling Yards, North Fremantle by 2016 but this was delayed until 2019 in a subsequent mid-year economic review, before the 2015-16 Budget allocated $5 million for 2016-17, $20 million in 2017-18 and $15 million in 2018-19.

No Curtin Avenue funding appeared to be in the 2016-17 State Budget.

Cottesloe Council has been working with Main Roads to fix the avenue’s dangerous Victoria, Salvado and Jarrad streets level crossings and Mayor Jo Dawkins said it was disappointing vehicle and pedestrian safety had “again taken a back seat”.