Bot­tle­necks drive call to de­cen­tralise

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - TOM SNOW­DON

TRAVEL speeds on the state’s ma­jor high­ways have slightly im­proved, but bot­tle­necks wors­ened once the traf­fic reached in­ner-Bris­bane sub­urbs.

While mostly an im­prove­ment, the find­ings from RACQ’s lat­est travel speed re­port re­in­forced calls to up­grade ma­jor trans­port routes to pre­pare for a pre­dicted south­east Queens­land pop­u­la­tion boom.

The Au­gust re­port shows morn­ing com­mut­ing speeds along parts of the Cen­te­nary Mo­tor­way in the city’s far south­west in­creased com­pared to the same time last year.

Along one 1km sec­tion at Darra – the best re­sult for the cor­ri­dor – the av­er­age speed rose by 4km/h to 36km/h.

In to­tal, four south­west­ern sec­tions of the Cen­te­nary and Ipswich mo­tor­ways recorded morn­ing im­prove­ments. RACQ ad­vo­cacy champion Paul Turner said Legacy Way would have taken some of the traf­fic off those routes.

How­ever, once traf­fic reached Jin­dalee, on the city’s south­ern fringe, con­ges­tion wors­ened. And by the time morn­ing mo­torists reached Toowong, speeds on the Cen­te­nary Mo­tor­way had slowed by 14km/h to reach 41km/h. Speeds con­tin­ued drop­ping to as low as 21km/h the closer mo­torists got to the city.

With Ipswich’s pop­u­la­tion pre­dicted to more than dou­ble to 520,000 by 2041, the south­west­ern ar­te­rial faces in­creas­ing pres­sure.

Ipswich Mayor Andrew An­to­niolli said the Spring­field train line ex­ten­sion, trav­el­ling through Ri­p­ley, needed to hap­pen sooner rather than later.

The State Gov­ern­ment has pre­served land for the rail ex­ten­sion, which will be built in stages, but most of the con- struc­tion will only oc­cur af­ter Cross River Rail’s planned de­liv­ery in 2024.

There were im­prove­ments on the Pa­cific Mo­tor­way. Mo­torists av­er­aged up to 39km/h around Wool­loongabba, which was still slow but a 5km/h im­prove­ment on last year.

The only area of the Pa­cific Mo­tor­way where traf­fic slowed was at Hol­land Park West, where it dropped 2km/h to reach 45km/h.

Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try Queens­land ad­vo­cacy champion Kate Whit­tle said the re­gion needed to start de­cen­tral­is­ing em­ploy­ment to stop cars trav­el­ling to Bris­bane’s CBD.

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