In Perth’s north-eastern suburbs, users can travel between Morley and Ellenbrook by bus or car. However, low‑density development in the north‑east and poor bus service reliability has led to high car dependency. This causes congestion on the key routes that connect the suburbs, including Lord Street, Beechboro Road, West Swan Road and the Reid Highway.
The population of Perth’s north-eastern suburbs, including the region between Morley and Ellenbrook, is estimated to grow by 2.2% per year between 2016 and 2031. Some of this growth will be met by major road upgrades currently being delivered along the corridor.
However, within the next 10–15 years, further growth in demand will cause significant congestion issues on the road network and worsen bus reliability and overcrowding. There is also an opportunity to better integrate transport and land use planning, to encourage more sustainable development and intensify development near activity centres and railway stations throughout the corridor.
Potential options to address the problem could include upgrades to the existing road network, improving bus service frequency and reliability or, if there is sufficient demand, introducing new modes such as bus rapid transit or rail.
The Western Australian Government is currently delivering upgrades to Lord Street and the NorthLink project, which links Morley to Muchea in the north. These improvements are expected to help meet demand along the corridor.
The Western Australian Government established the METRONET office in 2017 to develop business cases for a number of Perth rail network projects. This includes a potential rail line between Morley and Ellenbrook.
The business case is currently under assessment by Infrastructure Australia (Stage 4 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).