West Australian Senator Scott Ludlam has called on state and federal authorities to work together on introducing a city-wide light rail system to alleviate the pressure on Perth's roads.
The Greens Senator said yesterday morning's traffic chaos, caused by a single accident involving truck carrying a forklift, exposed the inadequacy of transport infrastructure in Perth.
"For an incident at 5.15am to cause widespread congestion until 10am, spreading out to Woodvale, Woodlands, Tuart Hill and Bayswater, is extraordinary but not entirely unexpected," he said. "To put it simply, we have more cars on the road than we need. The solution is a comprehensive public-transport reform program including light rail."
Light rail is the modern version of the trams that served Perth until 1958.
"The fact that the WA transport minister Simon O'Brien did not comment yesterday on the issue of investment in public transport in Western Australia says more than any statement from him would have," said Senator Ludlam. "If the West Australian government is serious about alleviating traffic on our roads, they will expand our public transport system."
Senator Ludlam, the Greens public transport spokesperson, spearheaded the party's light rail policy at the Federal Election.
"We have a comprehensive light rail plan prepare for Perth and for regional centres throughout Western Australia," he said. "A single electric railcar can accommodate 60 people including space for bikes and wheelchairs. You can imagine the pressure a comprehensive light rail system would take off the roads. The Federal and State government needs to work together to make it happen."