Advocacy Update: PSP Detours Workshop

title page from PowerPower that says Principal Shared Path Detours: Perspectives from Community Members and WestCycle

Active Transport Manager, Georgia Scott, here with an advocacy update, this time on something many bike riders in Perth have too much experience with: Principal Shared Path Detours.

Yesterday, 7 November 2023, Wayne Bradshaw (CEO) and I attended a workshop on Principal Shared Path detours with staff from the agencies that deliver or advise on projects that impact the PSP network: Main Roads, the Office of Major Transport Infrastructure Delivery (i.e. large projects like METRONET and Tonkin Gap), Public Transport Authority, and Department of Transport. A range of staff were in attendance, including Project Managers and Directors.


Every three months, WestCycle meets with staff from Main Roads and Department of Transport to receive updates about PSPs in development, ask questions and provide feedback. Much of our feedback this year has been that we keep getting complaints from path users about detours of the PSP and that every project team seemed to take a different approach to delivering the detours and responding to concerns – whether from community members, WestCycle, local governments, Department of Transport or other stakeholders.

At the July meeting, an agenda was put forward for a workshop with all relevant delivery agency staff to properly understand and address these concerns. We enthusiastically agreed.

Workshop purpose

The purposes of the workshop was to understand:

  • Path users’ concerns, WestCycle’s observations and recommendations regarding Principal Shared Path detours;
  • Delivery agency perspectives on current approaches taken to implement detours
  • Specific actions that need to be taken to ensure PSP detours are better all round for path users, how they will be done, and who will do them.

Community survey responses

In the 5 days it was available, 86 people (25 female, 59 male, 2 N/A) aged 22 – 87 filled out the survey and provided ratings and comments about their experiences with the detours. Respondents had collective experience across the detours we listed, and the postcodes they provided were spread across the Perth metro area with more of a focus on the areas with more detours in the north and east – which makes sense.

So how are people finding the detours?

My presentation included charts of survey responses which showed people found the detours difficult to navigate, unsafe, and hard to find reliable information about, and that interactions with staff had been mixed.

I illustrated some of the reasons for these results with photos from several detours, both taken by myself and kindly provided by others.


I shared my observations – or perhaps realisations – that:

  • There is no central government source of information on PSP disruptions (Main Roads’ Paths and Cycling page, for example, only shows Main Roads projects, not METRONET projects)
  • Each project team seems to implement all aspects of detour implementation differently
  • The information provided about the detours is inconsistent in its content, frequency, style and where it could be found.


WestCycle’s recommendations for discussion included:

  • Creation of a central source of information on current PSP disruptions and detours
  • Creation of guidance and templates that must be used on all projects impacting the PSP to ensure a consistent and appropriate level of service across the board.
  • Use of a “detour checklist” by project managers that focuses on the end outcomes required for path users to feel safe and comfortable using a detour.
  • Opportunities for engaging directly with path users
  • The importance of riding a bike along the detour route, before and during implementation.


The presentations from Department of Transport, Main Roads and PTA showed a genuine understanding of the issues, challenges and opportunities presented by the current approach to PSP detour implementation. A presentation from Main Roads included their observations of how helpful riding a bike through potential routes was for understanding the requirements of path users.

The discussion that followed was extremely positive and productive. Everyone was genuinely interested to hear about the experiences of path users, receptive to our recommendations and actively seeking solutions to the issues raised.

Honestly, it was probably the best meeting I’ve ever had with government, and my contribution would not have been as productive without all of the discussions I’ve had with community members, consultants, contractors, Main Roads and Department of Transport staff, and the passionate bike riders I work with, in the past two years of working at WestCycle.

We will share more information here about the specific actions that will be taken, how we will be working with government to get the details right, and the extensive comments provided in the survey.

There will also be more opportunities for you to help us to better advocate for bike riders in WA. Stay tuned.

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Tim Roach

Elected Director | Off Road

Tim has been in senior leadership and strategic development roles for more than twenty years. He is currently Director of Executive Education in the School of Business and Law at Edith Cowan University and is a past Assistant Commissioner and General Manager in the public service. He is an Accountant (FCPA) and sits on the Divisional Council of CPA Australia.

Tim has been involved in racing mountain bikes, BMX and triathlon for many years, both as a father of two children who race and as a past and current bike racer. Tim is the current over-50 State Champion in downhill mountain biking. He is also a very regular and enthusiastic transport cyclist; frequently seen in a suit and tie riding to meetings in the city on a mountain bike.

Denise Sullivan

Chair | Governance & Risk Committee

Denise Sullivan has a career spanning over twenty years in senior management and executive roles in the state public and not-for-profit health sectors.

In her usual role of Director Chronic Disease Prevention with the Western Australian Department of Health, she leads the development of state chronic disease and injury prevention policy and planning frameworks and contributes to the shaping of the national preventive health policy agenda.

Her professional interests cover many aspects of chronic disease and injury prevention encompassing health communications, health promotion and research, public policy on health and workforce planning and development.

She has a particular interest in furthering collaborations with other sectors with a mutual interest in promoting a more active and healthier WA community, and creating and sustaining environments that support this. Denise is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Leadership WA Signature Program, and an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and the Australian College of Health Service Managers.

Denise is a recreational cyclist and recent convert to mountain biking (although trainer wheels still on!).