Path rethink as residents cut off

WA’S transport department will have a rethink about a proposed shared path through North Fremantle after WA Liberal leader David Honey raised residents’ grievances in Parliament.

Mr Honey, who’s electorate of Cottesloe takes in North Fremantle, said he was pleased transport minister Rita Saffioti agreed during the debate to look at alternative routes. The current plan is to continue the path along the eastern side of the railway track.

“Residents in North Fremantle are supportive of the development of the principal shared path along the rail line but are greatly concerned about the adverse impact of current plans on residents in Pearse and Jackson Streets in North Fremantle,” Mr Honey said.

He said the residents would end up with a high wall overlooking their properties, constant lighting and noise and possibly anti-social behaviour, while they wouldn’t actually have direct access themselves. This gave the impression they were being treated as a simple thoroughfare to Fremantle.

Mr Honey said while the community were given alignment options over the replacement of the old traffic bridge, they had been allowed no input into the path.

Alternative

“I implored the minister to arrange for government representatives to meet with residents to discuss in detail their alternative proposals,” Mr Honey said.

“As I regularly remind government, local residents have to live with the legacy of planning and development decisions and that is why local views must be respected in such decisions.”

North Fremantle Community Association convenor Gerry MacGill said the department appeared to be taking great pains to get responses from residents nw, handing out and letterboxing survey flyers.

He warned residents to fill in the surveys so they wouldn’t be dominated by those only with an interest in cycling.

“The survey covers several built stretches of the path, but most critically for us also the unbuilt section from the North Fremantle station to the Swan River,” Mr MacGill emailed members.

“The problem there is not just the route, but achieving the gradient change to meet the level of the bridge taking the path onwards over Tydeman Road to the river.

“Either east or west of Pearse Street will have serious implications for the amenity 

of residents of that peaceful, beautiful street.

“There is, moreover, no point of access to the path for the whole of North Fremantle other than at the station.

“Our connection to our city and southern neighbours is in no way improved.”

by STEVE GRANT

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