Waroona Business Support Group chair calls for better public transport options for town
The head of Waroona’s lead business group has called on investments to be made to improve the town’s public transport options, describing the situation as “incredibly frustrating”.
Waroona Business Support Group chair Bronwyn Chompff-Gliddon has proposed extending existing bus services between Mandurah and Pinjarra to the town to meet residents’ needs to travel elsewhere in the Peel region.
She said there was “a big lack” of options available within the town for those who were limited in their use of private transport.
“We have the Australind (train) which goes through ... but it comes once in the morning and once at night so your options are really, really limited,” Ms Chompff-Gliddon said.
“I’ve had kids and they don’t have any opportunity to go outside Waroona to do anything, whether it’s entertainment or jobs or study so that puts a lot of pressure on parents to drive them around.”
Ms Chompff-Gliddon said those who were elderly or on low incomes and businesses catering to the tourism industry were also disadvantaged by the lack of services.
“For a town that is so close and yet so far from Mandurah, it’s incredibly frustrating,” she said.
“I’ve lived here for 17 years and it’s always been like this.”
The situation could worsen when the Australind comes off the rails for up to 18 months later this year as part of upgrades to the Armadale train line.
Ms Chompff-Gliddon believes the most “logical” option to resolve Waroona’s public transport issues is to extend the Transperth 600 bus service, which runs between Mandurah and Pinjarra.
“You already have a bus service 20 minutes up the road where it finishes, and to bring it down it’s only like 25km,” she said.
Ms Chompff-Gliddon raised her proposal and issues with the town’s public transport options with Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke at the Peel Budget breakfast earlier this month.
Ms Clarke said she was aware of the issues and described the situation as a “catch 22”.
“Waroona is one of those areas where the population is not big enough to warrant a bus service, yet it has probably got the biggest amount of people that need a bus service,” she said.
With the Australind to be off the tracks for more than a year, Transwa is set to run coaches along South Western Highway as a replacement service for communities served by the line.
Ms Clarke said she was working with the Public Transport Authority to see what could be done to improve services to Waroona during the disruptions.
“I’m very passionate about the youth stuck in Waroona not being able to get to jobs, to TAFE, to even job provider appointments and I’m working very hard to try and come up with the best solution,” she said.
PTA spokesperson David Hynes said a regional shopper service currently runs between Pinjarra and Mandurah on Thursdays, which is extended to Waroona on alternative weeks.
“While there have been several inquiries over the years regarding frequency, low patronage has not warranted an increase in the service, nor an extension of Route 600,” he said.
Mr Hynes said “extensive consultation” had been done with passengers to ensure there were adequate replacement services for the Australind during the Armadale line works.
“All relevant information regarding replacement services will be available via the Transwa and Transperth websites closer to the date,” he said.
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