Council eagerly anticipating report looking at future transport challenges

The Council of Mayors’ (SEQ) regional People Mass Movement Study, to be released in January 2019, will highlight significant benefits for Ipswich residents in terms of future transport goals.

The study is an in-depth view of the growth and transport challenges facing the region, ultimately delivering a roadmap to reduce congestion and drive stronger regional connectivity in the coming decades.

While it is being delivered as part of an investigation into a regional 2032 Olympic Games, the Council of Mayors (SEQ) – of which Ipswich Interim Administrator Greg Chemello is a member – believes the findings are vital to the future of South East Queensland.

Initial findings from the study have been released by the Council of Mayors (SEQ) and make fascinating reading for Ipswich commuters.

Currently, it takes 58 minutes to travel by train from Ipswich Central to Brisbane Central. A proposed faster rail program, to be delivered by 2031, would see a reduction in travel time of 66 per cent to just 20 minutes.

Mr Chemello said the faster rail program would be crucial for the region as population soared at an unprecedented rate and welcomed a trip of 20 minutes between the two cities.

“We recently passed the 215,000 population point and we are heading towards 500,000 within 20 years,” Mr Chemello said.

“It is absolutely vital that public transport is significantly improved to cater for that growth. That means rail, buses and a better transport and road network.”

The Springfield railway line opened in December 2013, but commuters have to change trains at Darra to get to Ipswich. The State Government’s Connecting SEQ 2031 Plan includes an extension of the Springfield line to Redbank Plains and Ripley – two of the region’s fastest growing suburbs – and through to Ipswich.

Council has been pleading with the government to introduce that link sooner, with land available now to build the extension to Redbank Plains and Ripley.

“We can’t stress enough the importance of this rail link. Ipswich is growing rapidly and we need the transport infrastructure urgently to cope with the population explosion,” Mr Chemello said.

He welcomed the announcement today that Logan and Moreton Bay councils had joined the landmark People Mass Movement Study and that it would support and strengthen the project.

The overarching message from the study’s transport work to-date was that infrastructure delivery in South East Queensland was no longer keeping pace with the region’s projected population growth.

“Traffic congestion will continue to worsen on all of South East Queensland’s major corridors as we head towards 2031, and by 2041, all major corridors will be over capacity in peak hours conditions,” it said.

Mr Chemello noted that the study found the Ipswich Motorway and Centenary Motorway had “very high” anticipated growth and by 2041 would be “over capacity”.

“It is essential to undertake the appropriate transport and infrastructure planning needed to cater for the future growth of the region,” he said.

“I look forward to the findings of the study, which will be released next month, and council working with State and Federal Governments in the future to help address our future transport needs.”

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