Vasse MP renews calls for dual carriageway

Vasse MP Libby Mettam with traffic behind her on Monday. Image supplied.
Vasse MP Libby Mettam with traffic behind her on Monday. Image supplied.

Vasse MP Libby Mettam has renewed her calls for the state government to make the dualling of Bussell Highway between Capel and Busselton a priority project.

Her plea follows huge congestion along the stretch of road over the long weekend.

However, premier Mark McGowan told local radio the heavy traffic was a ‘fact of life’.

Mr McGowan told ABC South West it was not a project his government had currently budgeted for.

"Well, it's a long weekend. I've been driving around that area now for 30 years and it's always congested on long weekends, it's just a fact of life,” he said.

"But - if we can find ways for securing funding for road upgrades in the future, then we'll do that."

Ms Mettam said Monday’s traffic jam highlighted the need for a dual carriageway. 

“Another long weekend and another reminder of how vital this upgrade is as traffic travelled nose to tail slowly along the single lane carriageway out of Busselton to Capel,” she said.

“This is a shovel ready project that will create at least 100 jobs and undoubtedly improve road safety and support the South West region.

“Dualling the carriageway between Busselton and Capel is the number one transport priority for this region and I urge the government to deliver on their election promises by upgrading this important freight, tourist  and inter-town route to make it safer for all.”

Bussell Highway near Capel was identitfied as one of the top 10 riskiest roads in WA by RAC in its State Wide Risky Roads report.

The survey noted the stretch of road posed a risk to commuters due to narrow lanes and bridges and a lack of overtaking opportunities. 

Ms Mettam said there had been 65 crashes between Capel and Busselton in the five year period from 2010 to 2014.

“Whilst the two and a half hour drive to Perth is something that many of us have become used to, it is a significant barrier to the economic growth of the region,” she said.

“It is essential we do anything we can to make the travel to and from this region safer and less stressful –  articularly during peak holiday periods when traffic more than doubles.

“This Busselton-Margaret River region is not only one of the fastest growing regions in the state, at a growth rate of 3.8 per cent, but it is also one of the most visited as well. With the population set to grow by 42 per cent between now and 2050, the Bussell Highway will only get busier.”

WA transport minister Rita Saffioti was contacted for comment.