Inland route is a safety nightmare
Is great idea, the current one needs serious work to bring it up to scratch
IMPROVING basic safety along the inland route from Brisbane to Cairns must take priority.
With up to 1000 heavy vehicles using the route every day, the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland has called on the State Government to spend money widening roads, adding overtaking lanes, doing roadside clearing and installing safety barriers.
RACQ safety engineer Greg Miszkowycz took a four-day road trip along the inland route from Brisbane to Cairns.
The 2000km journey includes the Burnett Hwy and is the only alternative to the Bruce Hwy heading north.
For Mr Miszkowycz and his crew, the trip was an opportunity to assess the road conditions and weigh in on the debate sparked by Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney’s comments in Parliament earlier in the year.
In May, the Deputy Premier suggested a new inland highway would benefit regional communities and an alternative north-south link would be both a strategic and economic gain for Queensland.
Now he maintains he is committed to developing the inland alternative to the flood-prone Bruce but needs money and voter approval.
“We have a plan to unlock more than $8 billion for infrastructure – such as the inland highway – as part of our Strong Choices campaign, which Queenslanders will be given the chance to support at the next election,” Mr Seeney said.
But Mr Miszkowycz said the government needed to address the short-term safety issues.
“With more vehicles the route is very unforgiving of driver error,” he said.
“If the government wants to use the route at times when it’s really needed (when the Bruce is flooded), well it’s not up to scratch.”