A new study has revealed that traffic calming devices on Fremantle's Hampton Road - without construction of the Fremantle Eastern Bypass - would shift traffic congestion, noise, vibration and car crashes to nearby residential streets.
The report - Impacts of Traffic Calming Hampton Road - prepared by SMEC for Main Roads, concluded that traffic calming of Hampton Road was unworkable unless the Fremantle Eastern Bypass was constructed.
Transport Minister Eric Charlton said that traffic calming alone would bring significant benefits to Hampton Road residents, but disadvantage the wider Fremantle community, businesses and the State's economy.
"Without the bypass, the traffic calming will move regional traffic problems to other streets within Fremantle," Mr Charlton said.
"It is not a simple replacement for the bypass as some people have claimed.
"Traffic calming of Hampton Road will reduce the number of cars and trucks, as well as reduce car crashes, noise and vibrations on that street.
"Unfortunately, the rest of the Fremantle region will pay a high price.
"Throughout White Gum Valley, Beaconsfield and South Fremantle car volumes, car crashes, noise, emissions and vibrations will rise and it is expected property prices could be affected as well."
While the report acknowledged that there would be some traffic movements to Stock Road as a result of traffic calming Hampton Road, other local roads could see increases of up to 1,000 vehicles per hour during peak periods.
The report warns that this will be caused by an increase in vehicles using adjacent local north-south roads to avoid traffic calming on Hampton Road.
Roads most affected by this and other increases in north-south traffic would include Carrington Street, High Street, Marmion Street, Canning Highway, Stirling Highway, Marine Terrace, Wray Avenue and Queen Victoria Street.
The report concluded that Fremantle's traffic problems were unlikely to be solved unless traffic calming was used in association with measures to increase the capacity of the regional road network, such as the Fremantle Eastern Bypass.
The report also concluded that a combination of the bypass and traffic calming Hampton Road would reduce travel times and reduce local traffic volumes.
According to the report, increased travel time and vehicle operating costs imposed by traffic calming Hampton Road (without an appropriate regional north-south route such as the bypass) would cost the community about $10 million over a 10-year time period.
This would be in addition to the estimated $14 million it would cost to traffic calm Hampton Road and provide measures recommended in the 1991 Fremantle Traffic Calming and Port Access Study.
"That is not the only cost involved," Mr Charlton said.
"If visitors to Fremantle see traffic calming as a significant inconvenience, they may stop visiting the region, which would damage local business."
The study was commissioned by Main Roads following a request to the Minister by Fremantle residents earlier this year.
Media contact: Nicole Trigwell 9321 7333