A rapid transit link between Fremantle and Cockburn Central has been added to the latest Infrastructure Australia Priority List.
A proposal for improved transport connections between Fremantle and Murdoch was included on the Infrastructure Australia Priority List last year.
In the 2022 Priority List released today, that project is expanded to also include the corridor between Fremantle, the Cockburn Coast and Cockburn Central.
Inclusion on the 2022 Priority List means the proposal has been independently assessed by Infrastructure Australia and is considered to be a project of national significance.
The Fremantle to Murdoch and Cockburn Central Transport Capacity Project is being driven by the South West Group, which represents the Cities of Fremantle, Cockburn and Melville.
Fremantle Mayor and South West Group chair Hannah Fitzhardinge said inclusion on the Priority List would greatly enhance the project’s prospects for securing funding from the state and federal governments.
“A rapid transit network connecting Fremantle with neighbouring urban centres was included as a key element in the City of Fremantle’s Freo 2029: Transformational Moves strategy,” Mayor Fitzhardinge said.
“Improved public transport would support the economic development of the region and provide a vital connection between Fremantle and the Western Trade Coast.
“It would also help to manage the volume of traffic from all of those people further south who travel to Fremantle for work or to socialise with friends and family.
“A listing in the Infrastructure Australia Priority List means our proposal for these two links has been objectively assessed as being nationally relevant infrastructure projects.
“We look forward to working with the state a federal government to progress this vital infrastructure for the region.”
South West Group Director Tom Griffiths said the group’s aspiration was for the region to be well connected by dedicated mass transit within the next decade.
“This transformational infrastructure can promote a coordinated urban corridor and centre development, supporting the creation of local jobs and facilitating transit-oriented developments to meet the state government’s infill targets,” Mr Griffiths said.
“Mid-tier transport can efficiently connect the region’s population to places of work and leisure by providing an attractive and sustainable alternative to private vehicle use, and we’re delighted to see Infrastructure Australia recognise this need.
“As this proposal aligns with Australian, Western Australian and local government infrastructure policy objectives and strategies, we hope to see these proposals progressed by the WA state government.”
The Infrastructure Australia listing states the South Street corridor between Fremantle and Murdoch is already congested and has relatively uncompetitive public transport options.
Hampton Road, Rockingham Road, North Lake Road and Beeliar Drive connecting Fremantle and Cockburn are also important transit corridors with growing congestion.
In 2017, network analysis from the WA Government indicated that South Street had the second highest congestion costs per road-kilometre in Perth. These problems are expected to worsen, with the Murdoch Activity Centre is projected to grow to be the largest employment centre outside of the Perth CBD by 2031.
Traffic has grown on the North Lake Road corridor by over 20 per cent in the three years to 2021. In the next 10 years, congestion is expected to significantly increase at Cockburn Central, even with committed infrastructure works such as the Armadale Road Bridge and the completion of the Thornlie-Cockburn Rail Link.
Research by the South West Group shows the introduction of major public transport infrastructure between Fremantle and Murdoch would improve travel times and accessibility within the corridor, increasing the catchment area for Fremantle and Murdoch.
The major centres of Fremantle and Cockburn Central would also benefit significantly from a high quality mass transit link connecting residents and workers along the corridor, including Cockburn Coast, Port Coogee and the globally significant Australian Marine Complex.
It could provide a seamless public transport connection to the Perth-Mandurah heavy rail line to the east, and the Fremantle line to the north-west, acting as the western extension of the Thornlie line through to Fremantle.