|More rail please!|
Unfortunately, Brisbane's only newspaper, the Courier Mail, has had a car bias for many years. This is not surprising as the Murdoch press has been aligned with the right side of politics for some time. Stories have never quite got to the point of the issues, one of the reasons by Rail Back on Track lobby group, and blogs such as BrizCommuter are in existence. It is thus of a pleasant surprise that the Courier Mail has just started a campaign, called #GetMovingSEQ to help resolve Brisbane's looming commuter crisis via social media pressure.
The first story in this campaign is below:
So what in BrizCommuter's opinion needs to be done to sort out Brisbane's congestion crisis:
Short term - 2015 to 2022
- Redesign Brisbane's inefficient and confusing bus network, with a less confusing, and better designed bus network with more high frequency routes. Cost - nothing, apart from political balls!
- Make the best use out Brisbane'e existing train infrastructure by installing ERTMS level 2 high capacity signalling to run the best possible service (24tph per track through the CBD in peak, and 15 minute service on all lines off-peak) on the existing train network. To achieve this, there may also need to be track enhancements along parts of the Gold Coast/Beenleigh Line corridor, additional trains purchased, and additional train stabling. Cost approx. $2.5b.
- Make public transport fares more attractive, to increase public transport patronage, helping to reduce road congestion. Cost - nothing.
- Extend the Gold Coast Light Rail to Helensvale. Cost $1b.
- Finalise the design and actually start building the cross city rail tunnel !!!
- Start designing considerable expansion of SE Queensland's rail network - North West Transportation Corridor/Trouts Rd Line (see previous blog post), rail to Caloundra and Mooloolaba, rail to Greater Flagstone, Gold Coast Line extension to Coolangatta, Cleveland Line duplication, Gold Coast Light Rail extension to Burleigh, Doomben Line duplication and extension to Hamilton Northshore.
- Stop the spread of low density urban sprawl away from existing/planned transport corridors, as it is unsustainable for transportation.
- Design new suburbs to allow for bus services or even a low cost busway (that can feed train lines, or higher frequency bus routes). Runcorn's (England) busway is a good example of this.
Longer term - 2022 to 2030 years
- Open Brisbane's cross city rail tunnel. Total cost approx. $5b.
- Build the North West Transportation Corridor/Trouts Rd Line (see previous blog post), rail to Caloundra and Mooloolaba, rail to Greater Flagstone, Gold Coast Line extension to Coolangatta, Cleveland Line duplication, Gold Coast Light Rail extension to Burleigh, Doomben Line duplication and extension to Hamilton Northshore. Estimated cost on average $1.5b/year.
- Instead of extending busways, build low cost bus lanes where required. Cost, approx. $1b.
Sadly, both sides of state politics, and the current federal government,are so incompetent when it comes to public transport that BrizCommuter doubts we will even see the first dot point in the near future, let alone the other requirements.