Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here’s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.


 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate

Subscribe!
Subscribe





On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.
___________

Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Brisbane traffic congestion policies: struggling to get from A to B

By Ken Willett - posted Wednesday, 10 March 2004


Brisbane's traffic congestion worsened markedly last week with the return of students to university. The underlying trend is more disturbing. Authoritative predictions that Brisbane will be Australia’s most congested city in just a decade seem likely to be fulfilled.

Congestion is costly: it delays people and goods and increases stress and traffic accidents; it greatly increases fuel consumption and vehicle emissions; it chokes economic growth.

Will Labor, Liberal or Green policies to combat congestion in Brisbane be effective? Are better strategies available?

Advertisement

Labor is focused on reallocation of resources from roads to heavy subsidies for public transport, including construction of busways/lanes and allocation of more road space to bus lanes. Labor does not want more radial roads to major activity centres, particularly the CBD. Labor proposes more bypass roads but will apply tolls on some major facilities. It also proposes higher parking costs.

A Labor council would investigate anti-congestion charges and seek to apply them if other policy actions prove ineffective. But congestion charges are not Queensland government policy.

The centrepiece of Liberal anti-congestion policy is a network of five road tunnels (including Labor’s North-South Bypass) linking inner-city suburbs. Each segment is to be tolled.

Liberal policy also includes intersection improvements and a possible bypass road skirting Brisbane's western suburbs.

Liberal policy proposes more subsidies for Brisbane’s bus system, including more busways. It excludes “punitive measures that try to force people on to inefficient, inconvenient bus services”.

The Greens want to reallocate funds from roads to public transport subsidies. This includes transit lanes along all arterial roads, and an inner-city light rail system. They advocate higher parking costs, particularly for vehicles entering or leaving the CBD in peak periods. Entry to the CBD could be restricted by a pass system.

Advertisement

Labor and Liberal policies recognise the value of bypass or ring roads, but no party proposes a comprehensive system of inner, intermediate and outer ring roads. The RACQ believes this is essential to remove through-traffic volumes (more than 40 per cent of the total) from radial roads to major activity centres.

Liberal and Labor plans to apply tolls to new bypass roads are not sensible. Tolls undermine the congestion-alleviating effects of bypasses and shift congestion elsewhere. Tolls would add to fuel/motoring taxes that already cover social costs of road use. They would exempt vehicles adding to congestion and charge those reducing it.

The political parties’ intended restriction of radial-road capacity to major activity centres is perverse. It means worse congestion as population and economic activity grow.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All

Article edited by Darian Clark.
If you'd like to be a volunteer editor too, click here.

This article first appeared in The Courier Mail on 4 March 2004.



Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with del.icio.us Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Ken Willett is Manager of Economic and Public Policy at the RACQ.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Ken Willett
Related Links
Brisbane City Council
RACQ
Article Tools
Comment Comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend
Advertisement

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy