Farrington Road fracas

MELVILLE and Cockburn councils are at loggerheads over the latter’s plan to widen Farrington Road.

Cockburn came under fire at Melville’s council meeting on Tuesday, with the widening described as “hypocritical” and a “substitute Roe 8”.

Leeming/Bull Creek councillor Clive Robartson tabled a motion, which was passed almost unanimously, to send out a letter to Melville residents along Farrington assuring them their section would be left alone. “It is a busy road, an active area and we need to limit traffic using it as a bypass,” Cr Robartson said.

He said the southern extension of Murdoch Drive would better link traffic with Roe Highway and the freeway.

The Melville portion of Farrington is currently one lane and includes roundabouts to ease congestion and keep traffic flowing at peak times.

Melville mayor Russell Aubrey claimed Cockburn wants its side of the road to be up to eight lanes in some areas.

Cr Matthew Woodall said Roe 8—which Cockburn strongly opposed—would have caused less disruption to residents than widening Farrington.

“Cockburn are trying to upgrade a local road rather than construct the freeway standard road that is required to service the area,” he said.

“[Leeming] residents are not receiving fantastic representation from the City of Cockburn and it urges us to look at the possibility of them being reunited into the one council where they were once properly represented.”

Cr Tim Barling was the only voice of opposition, saying Melville needed to communicate with Cockburn about its stance before making a decision.

Cockburn CEO Stephen Cain says the council hasn’t made a decision on Farrington yet, but is reviewing the impact of the freight link’s demise and the new link from Roe Highway into Murdoch Drive. He noted the latter is likely to push traffic onto Farrington as well as impact Bibra Dive and Allendale Entrance.

He says residents have already noticed the likely impact and have raised the issue with the council and Labor MP Peter Tinley.

“The city is now reviewing this proposal and looking at options, such as the link road being constructed as an overpass over Farrington Road,” Mr Cain said.

He noted that Farrington’s traffic volume is already getting to the stage where widening would be expected, with 21,000 a day west of Progress Drive.

by CHARLIE SMITH and STEVE GRANT

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