Perth needs a transport plan that is based on a 50 to 100 year vision with a detailed implementation timeline over the next 20 years. Over the next five decades Perth’s population will triple or even quadruple. We need to be planning and building a transformation of Perth’s public transport system that allows people to move around the city without needing a private car.
To tackle future growth, serious consideration should be given to a new circle rail line as part of the Public Transport Network Plan to allow commuters to be diverted around the city centre. A circle rail line, built in stages over the next 30 to 50 years, would connect growing employment areas across the metropolitan area.
We need to develop a rail system that allows people to bypass the city centre when travelling to the growing employment centres outside the city, including UWA/QEII, Curtin University, Fremantle, Fiona Stanley Hospital/Murdoch University and the Perth Airport.
The first three stages of the circle route could include new spur rail lines:
· From the Midland line along Tonkin Highway, to Perth Airport and terminating at a new Forrestfield Station;
· From the Joondalup line along Reid Highway to new stations at Mirrabooka and Malaga; and
· From the Midland line along Tonkin Highway to meet the Reid Highway line (this would also be the start of a line to Ellenbrook).
While light rail focuses on the inner city, a circle suburban rail route will operate 10 to 15 kilometres out from the city centre, connecting future employment growth centres.
Perth’s transport vision must also include:
· A new rail line to Ellenbrook;
· A new rail line to Wanneroo;
· At least six new stations on the Mandurah line;
· Extension of the Thornlie line to Canning Vale and Jandakot;
· Extensions of the Joondalup, Armadale and Midland lines to service new growth suburbs;
· A fast train to Bunbury;
· A new light rail network; and
· Improved bus services feeding into the expanded rail network.
Building Perth’s Public Transport Network for the next 100 years is a big task and the Barnett Government has to start now. There is no room for short cuts; it has to be built right from the start.