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Note: In May the Department of Transport released the "Fremantle to Cottesloe Transport Plan" and requested public comments, preferably by 31 May 2000. What follows is LAC's submission.

 

 

Transport Planning for Leighton
a discussion paper

a submission to the Department of Transport in relation to the preparation of the Fremantle to Cottesloe Transport Plan

7 June 2000

prepared by the
Leighton Action Coalition Inc.

 

1.0 INTRODUCTION

This discussion paper has been prepared by the Leighton Action Coalition (LAC) as a submission to the Department of Transport (DoT) to coincide with their integrated transport study of the Leighton peninsula. The first part of the discussion paper sets out transport planning principles supported by LAC and provides general comments on the "Fremantle to Cottesloe Transport Plan" options paper issued by DoT.

The second part of this discussion paper provides specific comment on the proposed extension of Curtin Avenue. LAC does not support this option as it is likely to fundamentally compromise good coastal planning. The juxtaposition of this proposed road to the coastal zone will need to be considered by the Ministry for Planning (MfP) as part of the preparation of planning guidelines for the area. Until such time as the MfP have completed these planning guidelines, the proposed Curtin Avenue extension can not and must not be finalised.

Constructive comment has been provided on the Curtin Avenue extension option in the hope that it will be modified so as to overcome some of the more negative aspects of the proposal. These comments should not be taken as tacit support for the proposal to construct an enlarged road network through the Leighton peninsula. Rather, they should be considered as pursuing a suite of issues on many aspects of the proposals contained in the options paper. Equally, the comments may be relevant to other options that should now be pursued and which may also have an inter-relationship to issues such as public amenity, coastal management, environmental and heritage considerations for the region.

LAC fully expects that DoT will need to seriously consider alternative transport options, including improved public transport and minor modifications to the configuration of Stirling Highway, so that the benefits and negativities of all options can be fully compared. LAC expresses dissapointment that alternative strategies have not formed part of the DoT's documentation to date, and will continue to demand that such options be properly considered.

 

2.0 GENERAL ISSUES

 

2.1 LAC's transport planning principles

LAC suggests that the following planning principles should be developed as part of the integrated transport planning process for Leighton:

1. The function of Leighton as a regional beach should be enhanced by establishing a larger coastal reserve to allow for the sustainable management of the environment and the provision of suitable regional recreational facilities within the coastal zone.

2. Regional roads, whether existing or proposed, should be removed from the new coastal reserve.

3. Access to the Fremantle Port should not be directed through the new coastal zone.

4. Public transport access to the coastal zone should be maximised, especially access by passenger rail.

5. Passenger rail stations should have direct physical and visual connection to the coastal zone.

6. A public transport corridor, preferrably rail, should be developed along the coastal corridor up to Scarborough and through to the northern passenger rail line.

7. Local traffic should gain access to the coastal zone without the need to travel along regional roads.

8. Cycling through the peninsula should include a veloway adjacent to the railway line, on lane cycle facilities on regional roads and the coastal access road, and dual use paths within the coastal zone.

9. Safe east-west cycling and pedestrian connections between the coastal zone and adjoining urban areas should be provided for at frequent intervals.

10. All of the recommended improvements in the vicinity of the transport corridor required as part of the implementation of the Vlamingh Parklands, should be incorporated.

11. No regional road within the peninsula should be wider than a four lane road and traffic speeds should be no higher than 60 km/hr on regional roads.

12. A continuous scenic drive access road with a maximum speed limit of 40 km/hr should be provided in the coastal zone and be linked to Marine Parade in Cottesloe.

13. Park-n-ride facilities at railway stations should be made available for beach parking on a reciprocal basis.

2.2 Integration of Coastal requirements.

Concern is expressed that the Transport Study effectively precedes the development of planning guidelines for Leighton beach and the Leighton marshalling yards. These planning guidelines are currently being prepared by the MfP and are not expected to be completed until December 2000.

It is noted that a conflict exists between the recommended coastal setback requirements and the proposed extension of Curtin Avenue. WAPC Planning Policies DC 2.3 "Public Open Space in Residential Areas" and DC 6.1 "Country Coastal Planning Policy" recommend a minimum coastal setback of 100 metres, measured from the first line of vegetation. This generally applies to local beach areas. However, Leighton is a regional beach and the coastal policy indicates that a reserve larger than the 100 metre benchmark should be provided for.

Preliminary assessment by the MfP associated with determining an appropriate setback at Leighton has indicated that between 94 metres and 132 metres will be required just to satisfy biophysical factors. Recreational needs, which must be considered over and above the environmental requirements, have yet to be determined but will obviously add significantly to the required coastal setback. LAC has estimated that these recreation requirements will warrant a further average setback of approximately 66 metres. LAC's considerations indicate that the coastal reserve should be at least 180 metres wide for most of the central section of the site (measured from the first line of vegetation) and wider at the regional node.

Assessment of the proposed Curtin Avenue extension highlights that a large portion of the road reserve is setback from the first line of vegetation by less than 100 metres, and it is likely that most of it will be within the final setback zone determined for Leighton.

Clearly, coastal management requirements, once properly considered, will severely constrain the ability to extend Curtin Avenue along the western edge of the passenger rail reserve. The transport planning process must deal with the reality that coastal setback requirements may result in Stirling Highway being the only environmentally acceptable route for regional traffic through the Leighton peninsula. (This should not be read as tacit support for a six lane road on Stirling Highway.)

It is imperative that the coastal planning and transport planning issues be properly integrated and therefore no decision on transport planning issues should be made until the extent of coastal reserve requirements has been properly established. Alternative approaches to transport planning that do not require regional traffic to pass west of the passenger rail reserve should be considered more thoroughly than has been evident to date. These could include options which focus on improving public transport or which take inter-regional traffic through routes other than the Leighton peninsula.

2.3 Integrated Transport Planning

The incorporation of road planning into a process of integrated transport planning is welcomed. Equally important has been the recognition that a large majority of vehicular usage in this area is intra-regional, and not inter-regional. However, the transport planning processes currently underway do not appear to provide an adequate assessment of the need for, and the opportunity to develop, a high quality public transport linkage along the northern coastal corridor. The connection of regional and sub-regional destinations by an extension of the passenger rail network must surely be a higher priority for government than the transformation of the existing functional road system into an extravagantly refined super road.

It is evident that Fremantle, Claremont, Swanbourne and especially Scarborough are already blighted by too much traffic. Forecasts that suggest a 15 - 30% increase in road usage to and through these destinations must not automatically be provided for by constructing new or wider roads without first questioning whether the impact on the local and regional centres will be too devastating. Priority should be given to transport options that will directly improve the prosperity and vitality of these centres. Integrated transport planning should not seek to encourage travel to far away destinations whilst destroying the civic hearts of existing local and regional communities.

If the proposal to construct a new road is primarily for the use of residents and business people in the vicinity of this transport corridor, as has become increasingly evident, then surely these communities will best be able to judge whether it is worth sacrificing their own neighborhood environment and town centres in order to facilitate easier travel to the adjoining suburbs.

The promise of this new appoach to transport planning must now be delivered by addressing the complexity of these planning issues in a truly integrated and sustainable manner.

3.0 SPECIFIC COMMENTS ON DoT DISCUSSION PAPER

Notwithstanding the general issues raised above, LAC raises the following specific issues in direct response to the "Fremantle to Cotteloe Transport Plan - Issues and Options Discussion Paper". The following dot points relate directly to the sections of the discussion paper identified below, as follows:

 

Home

The issues

 Community's Concept
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LAC contact details

Leighton Action Coalition Inc.
C/- 34A Holland Street
Fremantle WA 6160
Australia
Tel: 9335 5182

Email: info@saveleighton.org.au (Sue Harrington, LAC spokesperson)