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Ipswich on board with fast rail network

Shutterstock image: GWR fast train in United Kingdom

More than 87 percent of Ipswich, Lockyer Valley and Toowoomba residents support the introduction of a regional fast rail network to significantly reduce travel times for commuters and tourists, according to the latest ReachTel poll commissioned by the Council of Mayors (SEQ).

A region-wide poll of more than 2,200 respondents showed strong Ipswich support for the concept of a south-east Queensland (SEQ) fast rail network, and widespread agreement that the current delivery of transport infrastructure was not keeping up with the growth of the region.

More than 76 percent of local respondents also believed that if SEQ hosted the 2032 Olympic Games, this could accelerate the delivery of transport infrastructure. Subsequently, 77 percent of respondents were either extremely likely or likely to support an SEQ Games if it delivered major transport upgrades.

These results came off the back of the SEQ People Mass Movement Study, released by the Council of Mayors (SEQ) earlier this year, which showed that all major road corridors in SEQ would be over capacity by 2041 – even if every currently planned and funded project was delivered.

Council of Mayors (SEQ) Chair and Brisbane Lord Mayor, Cr Adrian Schrinner, said it was no surprise to see that commuters were ready to take advantage of an SEQ fast rail network that could slash travel times between the region’s cities to under 45 minutes.

“The SEQ Mayors embarked on an investigation of an Olympic Games with the belief that it would catalyse all levels of government to address the lack of transport investment in the region, and create a firm deadline to ensure it’s delivered,” Cr Schrinner said.

“Even at this early stage, we can see the Mayors’ vision for fast rail taking shape with the North Coast Connect business case due for completion later this year, the establishment of a national faster rail agency and funding commitments to investigate rail solutions for the southern and western corridors.

“Being able to move between our cities in under 45 minutes, even in peak times, makes SEQ a more liveable region for our residents and a more attractive destination for tourists. The economic uplift generated by the introduction of an SEQ fast rail network would be considerable.

“The Council of Mayors (SEQ) is supportive of an Olympic Games only on the basis it delivers regional connectivity for the residents, businesses and visitors of SEQ. Both the SEQ Mayors and the community believe fast rail is key to fixing the region’s transport and congestion issues.”

Ipswich City Council Interim Administrator, Mr Greg Chemello, said a fast rail connection between Brisbane and Ipswich would be deliver a massive boost to some of the region’s fastest growing suburbs, slashing the commute time to Brisbane to just 20 minutes.

“Being able to travel between Ipswich and Brisbane in just 20 minutes would completely change how we move around this region. We’d see people leave their cars behind and embrace the speed and efficiency of fast rail.

“With the population of Ipswich moving towards 500,000 in the next 20 years, we need to be thinking now about how we can accommodate this growth effectively. Fast rail, partnered with an extension of the Springfield line, will be vital,” Greg Chemello said.

An SEQ fast rail network has the potential to reduce travel times from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast by 48 percent, to the Gold Coast by 52 percent and to Ipswich by 66 percent. The maximum operating speed is anticipated to be between 200 to 250km/h with an average running speed up to 150 to 160km/h.

SEQ Fast Rail – Poll Results

Question 1

Do you believe the delivery of transport infrastructure in South East Queensland is keeping up with the region’s population growth?

  SEQ Western Corridor
YES 13.3% 14.3%
NO 75.2% 72.7%
UNSURE / DON’T KNOW 11.5% 13.0%

Question 2

Would you support the introduction of fast rail in South East Queensland? 

  SEQ Western Corridor
YES 83.4% 87.2%
NO 10.7% 8.5%
UNSURE / DON’T KNOW 5.9% 4.3%

Question 3 

Do you think governments are more or less likely to increase investment in transport in the lead up to major events? 

  SEQ Western Corridor
LIKELY 40.4% 39.4%
NEITHER 16.2% 16.3%
UNLIKELY 4.3% 4.3%

Question 4

South East Queensland has been proposed as a potential host of the 2032 Olympic Games. If a bid proceeded, do you think this could accelerate the delivery of transport infrastructure in South East Queensland? 

  SEQ Western Corridor
YES 74.5% 76.8%
NO 13.9% 13.5%
UNSURE / DON’T KNOW 11.6% 9.7%

Question 5

How likely would you be to support a bid for South East Queensland to host the 2032 Olympic Games, if a bid provided major upgrades to transport infrastructure?

  SEQ Western Corridor
LIKELY 27.7% 30.5%
NEITHER 12.5% 13.6%
UNLIKELY 9.0% 3.6%

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