MAIN ROADS has dumped an unpopular proposal to turn Charles Street into an even busier high-capacity thoroughfare, cancelling the idea even before the consultation period was over.
The proposal involved sinking Charles Street at three intersections (Vincent Street, Scarborough Beach Road and Walcott Street) so traffic north/south could duck straight through and avoid traffic lights.
But the changes would’ve intensified the busy road that divides Vincent, prompting fears it would only encourage more traffic along Charles Street if the drive was quicker. It also would’ve eaten into public space at Beatty Park and required private property to be resumed.
Along with opposition from local residents who would like Hallett said at the November 15 council meeting: “It’s a retrograde approach to urban and transport planning that further entrenches a reliance on cars, with all the climate and health impact that entails, as well as dividing neighbourhoods and destroying homes.
“Frankly it’s a shocking proposal that should never have seen the light of day in 2022.”
Cr Alex Castle said the plan “flies in the face of almost every policy we have in the City of Vincent, which is to prioritise the environment, pedestrians, cyclists, and our residents over cars”.
Main Roads was going to keep consultation open until December 31, but this week called the whole thing off.
“In response to community feedback, we will not proceed any further with the current Charles Street planning concept,” Main Roads’ November 22 statement said.
“Over the past six weeks, there have been several drop-in sessions and land owner meetings in addition to more than 550 people responding to an online survey to share their views on the concept.
“Fewer than half of the respondents supported the proposal (46.1 per cent) with a key area of concern being the number of private properties likely to be impacted by the proposed concept.”
Perth state Labor MP John Carey met with Main Roads last week to review residents’ submissions, and this week he welcomed the decision not to go ahead.
“I genuinely believe this is the right outcome for North Perth,” Mr Carey said of the plan’s cancellation.
“In my meetings and conversations with local residents, my recent mobile booth and while door-knocking Charles Street,
it was very evident that there was serious concern from the community, particularly that the proposal would sever the North Perth community.”
Main Roads said it would take onboard the feedback for any future planning to alleviate traffic congestion along Charles Street.
However one of the major requests from locals for some public transport along Charles is unlikely to be granted. Main Roads’ FAQ says “there are no plans to include a mid-tier transit system along Charles Street and if it was provided there would be significant additional land impacts along the whole corridor not just at the key intersections”.
by DAVID BELL