MAIN ROADS has backflipped and will let Cockburn council create a clearway into the Caltex petrol station on Berrigan Drive.
The petrol station is one of Perth’s most popular thanks to its heavy discounting, but often there’s more than 50 cars lining up to get in, clogging up Berrigan and North Lake Road.
Much of the traffic is funnelled towards the entrance on Berrigan Drive just after the traffic lights, but often there’s no gap to get through and the intersection becomes an ugly snarl.
It’s led to a series of rear-enders which the council’s chief engineer Charles Sullivan told Main Roads has resulted in the council putting up temporary bollards to prevent right-turns into the Caltex.
“We had no choice as the most recent accident before Christmas resulted in a child being injured and there was extreme community reaction on the city,” Mr Sullivan wrote.
Woolworths, which owns the Caltex, is furious and blames the council for adding a left-turn slip lane on Berrigan.
“Woolworths wishes to make clear, in the strongest possible terms that it is deeply concerned by the position adopted by council,” the supermarket giant’s senior property lawyer Cherie Leatham wrote to the council.
Ms Leatham says the bollards are expected to hit the Caltex’s profits by 50 per cent.
Her comments are summed up by signwriter Fereze from Pixel Signs.
His office is just up the road from the petrol station, but now he’ll only turn in if he needs to fill up on return journeys.
“It’s too hard otherwise, so I just go elsewhere,” he says.
Main Roads initially knocked back the clearway, as they’re usually not permitted into private businesses or residences, but following the accident involving the child has changed its mind. It will allow the clearway to be marked on the roads, but warned the council it wanted regular updates and if the measure didn’t solve the problem, the council would probably have to resurface the road.
It also foreshadowed that it wanted the council to plan for a permanent ban of right-hand turns into the petrol station.
by STEVE GRANT