Ipswich City Council is proactively monitoring traffic volumes and trends to ensure investments in infrastructure and planning decisions are made wisely and where most appropriate to cater for the city’s growing population.
Council’s 2017 Strategic Traffic Count Program showed the southern suburbs (including Ripley, Raceview, Flinders View) had the highest one year growth rate of 14 per cent.
The outer eastern suburbs (including Springfield, Bellbird Park, Brookwater, Augustine Heights) maintained the highest five year growth at 31 per cent.
Overall, Ipswich recorded a traffic increase of 4 per cent over the past year and a 17 per cent increase over the past five years.
Infrastructure and Emergency Management Committee Chairperson Cr Cheryl Bromage said the report released at committee on Monday provided a fascinating insight on latest traffic data.
“The results have delivered a valuable snapshot into the performance of Ipswich’s existing road network. They will be used to inform council’s transport planning, traffic operations, investment programming and development assessment activities,” she said.
“The results have also identified that a number of two-lane roads within the city’s transport network continue to perform near or over their carrying capacity.
“These roads have already been identified for future investment by council and prioritised for citywide investment within the 10 Year Transport Infrastructure Investment Plan (2017-2027).”
Cr Bromage said the data provides further evidence of the current population growth and development occurring in Ipswich and the need to deliver on the objectives of the City of Ipswich Transport Plan (iGO) in order to maintain a safe and reliable transport network.
“In particular, the continued high growth trend in vehicle trips provides justification for the need for Ipswich residents to be provided access to viable and high quality public and active transport alternatives,” she said.
Ipswich’s population topped 208,000 at the end of 2017 and is forecast to rise to 485,000 by 2036.
The Strategic Traffic Count Program is conducted at approximately 100 locations across Ipswich in October and November every year, not including state-controlled roads.
The busiest council road is Augusta Parkway, as per previous years, with a 2017 recorded volume of 31,830 vehicles (up 1.4 per cent).The top nine busiest roads are the same as reported in 2015 and 2016, with some changes to the order.
The largest increase in traffic over the last year (in terms of vehicle volume and percentage) was recorded on Ripley Road, just north of the Centenary Highway, with an additional 4,076 vehicles per weekday – a 91.4 per cent increase. Ripley Road, between the Centenary Highway and Providence Parade, also recorded an additional 2,830 vehicles per weekday – an 85 per cent increase.
Cr Bromage said this was most likely the result of the continued development and construction works associated with the Ripley Valley Priority Development Area.
“Overall, a total daily volume of approximately one million trips across the 103 count sites was recorded during the 2017 program,” she said.
Cr Bromage said council would continue to work closely with the Queensland Government as the “operation and performance of state-controlled roads can have a direct impact on the traffic volumes on surrounding local controlled roads”.