Perth Freight Link Damned if we do Damned if we don’t Pt 1.

Again today in the Herald we see the howling about the PFL and the road to rail crew beating on about his conspiracy theories in, Barnett, secrecy and Brookfields. Babbling about knots, kites and elephants?

Fremantle has a huge traffic problems right now on;

  • Hampton Rd
  • South St
  • High St
  • North Freo Stirling Hwy
  • Stirling Hwy Canning Hwy lights
  • Tydeman Rd
  • Rat runs developing through the suburbs
  • The council increasing density up to R160 which will just bring more and more cars.
  • Today Friday, I drove west down South St over Stock road, the traffic going east on South St were backup from Stock Rd backup to Travis St and it wasn’t even 1pm.

All of this will continue to get worse trucks or not. Port or not, as cars are the major part of the issues on the roads in and around Fremantle. Bad enough the council has actively made parking worse in Freo now our roads are more congested with no real improvements in roads infrastructure for decades.

So residents will have to accept if there are no PFL there will be NO improvement to our roads in the area, congestion will worsen, trucks will continue to increase for decades from the port about 7% a year with more and more trucks rat running off the main roads. Not having a PFL will guarantee more trucks through our suburbs on exactly the same roads they drive on now.

  • More trucks on Hampton Rd
  • More trucks on Stirling Hwy
  • More trucks on Curtin Ave
  • More trucks on High St
  • More accidents at Stirling Hwy and High St intersection
  • More congestion on all of them
  • More stop start with many changes between light changes to get through just one intersection.

Does anyone seriously think the Outer harbour will be operational in the 10 years or even started? Labour promises to build it, but where is the $5billion coming from plus the money for the Tonkin Hwy Link plus all the other infrastructure that will be needed in the area to make it all work.

Here is an extract from the EPA report on the impact of building the outer harbour from 2006, I imagine the criteria will be much tougher now, 9 years on?

“The EPA submits the following recommendations to the Minister for the Environment:

  1. That the Minister notes that the EPA does not express a preference for any particular port option. It appears all options would have significant environmental impacts, especially within Cockburn Sound.
  2. That the Minister notes that cumulative pressures along the eastern margin of Cockburn Sound will increase the threat to the improvements in the condition of Cockburn Sound which have been achieved through strong action by Government, industry and the community in recent decades.”

What the R2R fails to address is roads are not just used by trucks but cars, and an Eastern by pass for the city is not a new idea as claimed it has been around as long as the road reserve that it may run along, which has been around for decades. “Over a period of approximately 20 years, Main Roads Western Australia procured most of the land in question for the future road. In 1985, the first kilometre of this road was constructed, which extended Stirling Highway southwards from Canning Highway to Leach Highway (known as High Street west of Carrington Street).  The remaining 3 km strip of land south of High Street then became known as the Fremantle Eastern Bypass.” 1985 not exactly a new idea???

An eastern bypass would help take traffic off local roads that are now used by transient car traffic with no business in Fremantle but are just driving through to go somewhere else. That’s what highways, freeways, motorways and bypasses do.

See pt 2&3 for a follow up, to have it all in one blog may be a bit long as there is a lot to digest. So to make it a lighter read I have divided into 3 parts.


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  1. Jerry Fay says:

    Liked your piece in the herald from a couple of weeks back.
    Hope you post more on the PFL as you seem to be one of the few asking real questions, where all we see from the council looks like them playing politics and not looking out for opportunities that may be in Fremantle’s best interest.

    The guy who wrote the article in the herald with all the conspiracy stuff seems like he has another agenda.

    Looking forward to part 2

    • Mark says:

      Thanks Jerry, I think there are opportunity Fremantle could get from the PFL but not in its current form.
      Sadly council is just showing its politics colours to object to the PFL as its a Lib idea.
      It has said they think it will go ahead anyway so why would they not look at ideas to improve the PFL for Freo residents as opposed to just saying no leaving us with what ever Barnetts crew puts up.
      Its only engagement that will bring out a better outcome for Freo, not head in the hand sand mentality. What ever happens we have to live with it for a long time.
      I actually agree with the rethinkthelink motto, but that can be rethink how it functions, not just saying NO.

  2. Its funny you talk about conspiracy theories as that’s exactly the feeling I got when I finished reading the article. He’s definitely wearing a tin foil hat, or he’s been inhaling too much diesel particulates.

    Again, they go on about the amount of diesel particulates generated through the PFL, but their counter intuitive solution results in more diesel particulates as has been shown through this Blog and the supporting evidence from Martin Lee and CUSPs own report.

    My understanding is that the PFL solution for the last mile potentially involves a replacement rail line to ease congestion, risk and safety on the existing passenger rail line. The governments own modelling is showing that you cannot build the Kwinana port in less than 15 years realistically and Fremantle port still needs to grow.

    Politically, Labor’s solution to this, is to not build the Perth Freight link and to NOT build the Kwinana Terminal either. No promises or commitments have been made. So its a choice between getting something built which will help Fremantle progress forward. A much needed infrastructure project which is majority funded by the Commonwealth, or as per Labor in Fremantle has rightly done for the last 50 years, nothing. Labor now has a potential 15% margin with the electoral boundary changes. So, don’t expect them to be throwing money at Fremantle.

  3. Freddie says:

    Just read the Thinking allowed in the Herald.
    The Barry guy, is he not one of those socialist something crew, does anyone take them seriously apart form the hundred or so disillusioned souls who vote for them every election not bad a couple of hundred votes across the whole state?
    Glad to see someone asking questions looking at the bigger picture! Fremantle is in dire need of help.
    So right South St traffic heading east in the afternoon is a disaster.
    Looks like the council abandon North Fremantle years ago, Stirling Highway is a nightmare

    • Mark says:

      That is one of Fremantle council biggest problems Politics, their focus should be on the residents and rate payers interests, not their state and federal political alliances and self interests. Just in the last weeks heralds we see more of individuals with political interests looking to get on council. The rate payers and residents seem to be here just to pay the bills for those with political ambitions.

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