The Western Australian state opposition party has queried the safety of Perth City Link’s underground busport after allegations it would take up to six minutes to evacuate a bus that caught fire in the terminal or on a ramp.
Labor frontbencher Bill Johnston said there were concerns about the emergency design features of the $209 million underground facility. There have been 15 such incidents during the past five years, including two in 48 hours in July at bus interchanges at Whitfords and the Esplanade. Johnston asked Transport minister Dean Nalder what would happen should the same thing occur in the new underground facility, which is scheduled to open mid next year.

Nalder denied passengers would have to evacuate back into the busport in the case of fire “because a chimney effect” would force smoke upwards. He said passengers could evacuate via three ground-level entrances at Queen Street, Yagan Square and King Street.

He said the Esplanade blaze had prompted a review of fire engineering at the underground busport, and the “adequacy of the design was confirmed”.