Former City of Busselton mayor Ian Stubbs has labelled the Eastern Link over the Vasse River as “nothing but environmental vandalism.”
Mr Stubbs has urged community members to stand on the footbridge near Stanley Street and look east to take in the mature trees, vegetation, wetlands and bird life.
“Blink, and then envisage an entry road. Honestly, I cannot understand how any councillor could give their support to this hair-brain proposal,” he said.
The City of Busselton have plans underway to develop a road which would cut across the east side of Rotary Park along Causeway Road and cross the Vasse River linking to Peel Street.
The plan has faced opposition from parts of the community who believe there are better solutions than the Eastern Link to alleviate traffic congestion into the town centre.
Mr Stubbs said it would be better for the city to wait until it could afford options which would not cause the environmental damage which would occur from the construction of the Eastern Link.
“The city should be working towards duplicating Causeway Road or directing traffic from Causeway Road and the bypass through the industrial area,” he said.
“Ford Road is another option identified in the Busselton traffic study. It has enormous community support, but it has environmental issues to resolve.”
City of Busselton mayor Grant Henley said on the advice of engineers and experts, council was pursuing the Eastern Link as the most effective and cost efficient deliverable in the short to medium term.
Mr Henley said developing the Eastern Link provided a far greater cost benefit return to the broader community than Ford Road.
The city has commenced an environmental study to review the Ford Road option, with Mr Henley stating they have been advised by a consultant it will be a long and expensive process.
”Without the link across the Vasse River, simply duplicating Causeway Road as a standalone measure will only serve to direct traffic into already congested intersections.”
With $1.25 million in federal funding to develop the Eastern Link, Mr Henley said the city saw no value in delaying works once an environmental approval was received.
”Delay will only serve to compound existing congestion. The Eastern Link will provide both immediate and long-term traffic congestion relief. Every element of road modification undertaken by the city is a vital component of the council endorsed plan for the local road network upgrade.”
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