Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Samford Rd/Wardell St Intersection - $65m waste?

Samford Road, and parallel Ferny Grove Line
Source: Google Maps
It has been reported in this Quest News article that Campbell Newman is proceeding with a $65 million upgrade of the infamous Samford Road / Wardell Street intersection in Enoggera, a road junction that just happens to be in Mr Newman's Ashgrove constituency! The $65 million project will also include a new entrance to Enoggera Army Barracks off Samford Road. BrizCommuter is concerned that $65m is being potentially wasted on Samford Road, when the parallel and recently duplicated Ferny Grove Line has such an unattractive train service. The mediocre train service includes:
  • No peak service improvements on the Ferny Grove Line despite the duplication opening in April 2012. Improvements to peak services was the reason behind the $133m duplication in the first place.
  • Despite the forthcoming and very welcome 15 minute weekday daytime off-peak service, trains will still only run every 30 minutes in the evening, and on weekends.
  • Trains only run every 60 minutes late at night and on Sunday mornings.  
It's not surprising that with such an unattractive parallel train service, that Samford Road can have long queues at this intersection at most times of the day. In fact on Saturdays around midday, 400m traffic queues are not uncommon.

Can increasing train services to drive patronage growth reduce road congestion? 1 half-full train = 400 cars = 15 minutes of inbound Samford Road peak hour traffic through Enoggera intersection! Why spend $65m on a road junction, when increasing peak hour train services may be just at effective at reducing traffic congestion?

BrizCommuter is also concerned that improving access to Gaythorne station's car park via Imbros Street may be ignored by the scope of this project. More fluid traffic flow on Samford Road may also make pedestrian access to Gaythorne and Enoggera stations harder, and possibly even more dangerous. 


  1. The intersection is not just used by people going to the city. If it were, then maybe the expenditure would be a waste. Also, the plans to upgrade the intersection (which are LONG overdue) were implemented by the previous Labor government. That intersection is such a ridiculous bottle-neck it's dangerous. But I agree, the Ferny Grove line needs improved services.

  2. @ Anonymous - BrizCommuter is aware that plenty of traffic crosses Samford Road, and congestion can sometimes be worse on Wardell Street than Samford Road. However, the above calculations were taking into account the Samford Road (inbound) share of the traffic light phase. This if one extra half-full train per hour can take 15 minutes worth of cars off Samford Road, then traffic light cycles can be altered to reduce congestion on Wardell Street as well.

  3. Upgrade is nearly finish now - what has it really achieved? Not much as far as I can tell. Really sad waste of $65M.


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