From a road safety point of view, this is a very poor decision. According to Main Roads Western Australia, the Toodyay Road operates at capacity now, and it is a RAV (heavy haulage) route with quarry activities in several locations and a high volume of trucks on the road. We also know there have been some very tragic events on this road in recent weeks.
"Buses and trains are safer modes of travel than cars or motorcycles. The fewer people driving cars and riding motorbikes, the fewer deaths and serious injury crashes will occur. Increasing the use of alternative transport also reduces congestion and vehicle emissions and supports sustainability."
Northam was announced as a Super Town; How can that be if there is a lack of rail Transport for residents?
You may be aware that in the State Budget plans to close the Avonlink train service between Perth and Toodyay-Northam from December this year and replace it with a bus service.
As anyone who has driven this road will understand, there are significant problems with the speed limits, geometry and quality of the road itself. During the years 2008-12 there were in excess of 330 recorded crashes on this road between the Roe Highway intersection and Toodyay, with 8 fatalities, 36 hospitalisations,and 57 incidents requiring medical attention. This is a 45 kilometre stretch of road.
The State road safety strategy, Towards Zero 2008-20, was signed off by the current State Government and the Road Safety Council on 19th March 2009. This strategy clearly expresses the need for increased use of public transport in order to reach the aspirational goal of zero road fatalities.