Widening a bridge too far

�This wave of traffic is going to be dropped into Colin Barnett�s electorate,� Rethink Perth Freight Link co-convenor Sam Wainwright said.

Plans for the PFL in Main Roads WA�s May newsletter show six lanes 1km south of Stirling Bridge, part of the 13.4km, $1.6 billion project from Jandakot to Fremantle Port that is due to start early next year, including the controversial Roe Highway 8 extension through wetlands.

�(But) at a Main Roads briefing for the link about six weeks ago, Fremantle councillors asked why in plans there were six lanes approaching the bridge from the south, and they were told �we�re going to widen Stirling Bridge by four lanes�,� Fremantle Road to Rail convenor Barry Healy said.

However, there were no plans north of the bridge to cater for more traffic, in addition to the about 25,000 vehicles using Stirling Highway daily or 13,000 on Curtin Avenue, which Cottesloe Council wants upgraded.

�Containers on trucks through the area will dramatically increase as the rail from the port will be closed due to the need to put trucks through the PFL to pay the toll,� Curtin University Professor of Sustainability Peter Newman said.

Prof Newman and an alliance of 18 community groups opposing the PFL want the number of containers transported on trains increased from 13 per cent to 30 per cent and they fear building a new container port in Cockburn Sound is now compromised because truck tolls are needed to pay for the PFL.

A Main Roads spokeswoman said freight through North Fremantle to the six lanes south of Stirling Bridge was being looked at �in detail� separately within Main Roads but Curtin Avenue and Stirling Highway were outside the scope of the PFL. She said Main Roads was aware of Cottesloe Council’s Curtin Avenue resolution and it was currently in the planning stage of identifying �the preferred long term solution� for Curtin Avenue through Cottesloe.