Ex-mayor raises congestion options

Taelor PeluseyBusselton Dunsborough Times

Former Busselton City Mayor Ian Stubbs has suggested signage promoting the different routes into Busselton as an immediate, low-cost way of easing congestion in the CBD as well as a raft of other short, medium and long-term projects.

The ideas were presented at this week’s public access session as an alternative to the link, which — if approved by government departments — would connect the stretch of Causeway Road from Strelly Street and Rosemary Drive between Stanley Place and Camilleri Street with a bridge over the Vasse River.

Mr Stubbs has frequently spoken out against the plan, raising concerns about its environmental and heritage implications, and this week told councillors it was a “no-brainer” to opt for the alternatives.

“I’d scrap the Eastern Link, direct funds to upgrade and widen the Causeway bridge ... erect more signage and encourage traffic away from Causeway Road,” he said. Mr Stubbs said the next project should be upgrading Causeway Road from Strelly or even Albert streets and install lights at the Causeway-Peel intersection or a dual-carriage roundabout.

“Then, in the long term, Ford Road is an absolute must,” he said.

Since the Eastern Link was presented as the City’s frontrunner to ease traffic woes it has faced much public scrutiny, with many citing preference for the extension of Ford Road.

But with Ford Road twice being rejected by the Environmental Protection Agency and unlikely to get off the ground in the near future, the City has continually touted the need for an immediate solution.

Busselton Mayor Grant Henley told the Times signage to inform people of other routes could help, but infrastructure was still needed and all modelling to date favoured the link.

At the meeting, several others spoke out against the City’s plan, particularly on the environmental effects.

Despite Ford Road being rejected because of its proximity to the Ramsar-listed Vasse-Wonnerup wetlands, former FAWNA president Jeff Falconer stressed the land to be cleared for the link was also highly sensitive.

Mr Falconer said to clear 17 fully mature peppermint trees would wipe out the critically endangered western ringtail possums living in the area.

“Relocating them is a death warrant. You just can’t do it,” he said.

The link will need approval from the Environmental Protection Agency before it can go ahead.

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