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Two-way traffic returns to the heart of the city

6th Jul 2008

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Two-way traffic returned to the heart of Perth today with William Street restored to a two-way city street between The Esplanade and Wellington Street.

Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi officially opened William Street’s new northbound lane, linking past with present by travelling up the new lane in a replica 1899 Perth Tram.

The leisurely paced first trip marks a new period for inner city commuting in Perth’s CBD.

Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi said converting William Street back to a two-way street will make it easier for people to travel in and around Perth’s retail and business heart. 

“The two-way conversion will benefit all road users be they motorists, pedestrians or public transport users by making intra city travel as quick, easy and safe,” Ms Scaffidi said.

“A William Street that travels both ways will give commuters more route options, take pressure off other inner city roads, and encourage motorists to think of the road as more than just a thoroughfare. It will also help create a bustling new café and shopping precinct right in the heart of the city.”

To ensure pedestrian safety in the area, the City of Perth will seek a permanent reduction in the speed limit along William Street. As well as reminding pedestrians to now look both ways on William Street, the City of Perth is positioning extra pedestrian and traffic guides along William Street to help all road users adjust to the new two-way format.

The two-way conversion forms part of a broader City of Perth strategy to revitalise the CBD and take advantage of the major construction and refurbishment works in the area. Complementary projects include the Murray Street Mall and Forrest Place upgrades and the Northbridge Piazza link.

William Street is now home to an underground rail platform which accommodates approximately 50,000 commuters each day. The area now offers those commuters a far more embracing and pedestrian-friendly environment.

“The William Street two-way conversion is part of a strategic vision that will revitalise Perth and establish it as a vibrant, dynamic and people-oriented city,” Ms Scaffidi said.

For more information about the return of two-way traffic to William Street, visit, email or call 1800 657 115.

Photo: Official opening of the William Street north-bound lane. From left: Cr Hardy, Cr Tognolini, Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi, Cr McEvoy, Cr Butler and Cr Davidson

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