Bunbury is the second-largest city in Western Australia and one of the fastest growing regional cities in Australia. The Port of Bunbury is Western Australia’s fourth-largest port by throughput, accommodating export growth of 3.4% annually between 2012 and 2017.
The Port of Bunbury is located adjacent to the Bunbury CBD and is serviced by five major highways that converge on the eastern outskirts of the city. The location of the port, in combination with the layout of the road infrastructure, results in freight vehicles passing through urban areas and at-grade intersections and rail crossings.
This is leading to travel-time delays, increases in vehicle operating costs and issues with safety, noise and air pollution.
Traffic volumes are forecast to continue increasing as a result of population, commercial and industrial growth across the region. Future growth in port traffic and other traffic streams, along with increasing demand for higher-productivity and larger vehicles, will exacerbate existing inefficiencies. The resulting cost increase will result in nationally significant impacts on productivity, and potentially compromise the competitiveness of the Port and the South West region.
Development of a ring road on the outskirts of Bunbury would allow the separation of regional traffic (including vehicles accessing the Port of Bunbury) and local traffic, thereby providing road safety, travel-time and freight efficiency benefits.
Proponent to complete business case development (Stage 3 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).