COMING SHORTLY - CAST Statement on the 3 Billion Tunnel

We have opposed the concept and construction of the 3B
Tunnel from the time it was first proposed by Jim Soorley.

We're preparing a detailed statement to explain why we
continue to vigorously oppose the Tunnel, and why we urge
all motorists to boycott the Tunnel.

Keep checking this site for our full statement.

INFORMATION ALERT CIty Bus Stops relocated from Monday 8 March

Bus stops 56 and 57 on Queen Street near Post Office
Square will be temporarily closed from Monday 8
March to Wednesday 30 June due to streetscape
construction works.
Stop 58 will be moved by up to 20m in the direction
of travel and services from this stop will also be affected.

For full details of bus services affected and a map of
the location of the new stops, go to


We are continuing to make submissions on behalf of public transport users, cyclists and pedestrians to Translink, service providers and Government.

These are shown on the page below described as 'Submissions to Translink' together with current status and replies if any.

If you are aware of a transport service or systemic fault that needs to be rectified or improved, contact us and we'll follow up the issue with the relevant authority on your behalf.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Smart Card Discounts

David Bremner, a Brisbane resident, has done an excellent evaluation of the discount scheme that has been offered by TransLink for SmartCard users.

You can read the full evaluation here:

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Media 20 Nov

Better public transport essential to combat global warming

This statement has been jointly issued and supported by these State organisations:

- Community Action for Sustainable Transport Queensland
- Public Transport Users Association Victoria
- Action for Public Transport NSW
- People for Public Transport SA
- Sustainable Transport Coalition WA
- ACT Transit Group ACT

An alliance of State transport lobby groups has urged the major political parties to commit to funding public and rail freight transport at a national level. This commitment must be an integral part of a cost-effective and energy-efficient greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction strategy.

The latest report from the International Panel on Climate Change indicates that the next Australian Government must take urgent and decisive action to avoid the destructive and irreversible impacts of climate change.

If Australia is to commit to achieving significant reductions in emissions by 2020 at the Bali conference in December, it will need to start planning now for a substantial reduction in emissions from transport.

"Transport accounts for 36% of household GHG emissions, and over 14% of total
national emissions. Most commuters know we need to fight global warming, but they want attractive transport options to encourage them to leave their cars at home and
walk, cycle or use public transport regularly," said spokesperson David White.

"Governments have to provide those options. Spending billions of dollars on new roads and tunnels will not solve the problem of congestion. It just means that we are not serious about confronting the issue of climate change. Cities overseas where more than 20% of trips are made by public transport have much lower per capita greenhouse emissions than Australian cities," Mr White said.

The major parties have a short-sighted belief that building more roads and tunnels will reduce traffic congestion. But experience has shown that new roads generate more traffic. And more cars mean higher carbon emission levels and accelerated global warming.

The transport groups say that Federal Governments cannot avoid responsibility for funding public and rail freight transport funding by claiming that public and rail freight transport is a State responsibility. As global warming is a national issue that requires a national solution, then Federal funding policy should require the States to meet strict performance, energy and environmental criteria.

New sustainable transport initiatives are required now. Low cost solutions like dedicated bike and bus lanes can be created immediately. New rolling stock, off-road bikeways and freight and passenger rail lines could be constructed and operating successfully within 5 years if balanced Federal transport funding is made available now.

Australia is the only developed country that does not provide direct federal funding of urban public transport, despite a recent survey revealing that 83 per cent of voters support federal funding being introduced.

If Australia is to avoid runaway climate change successfully, high quality public and rail freight transport must be a key part of the solution. We strongly urge the major parties to commit to funding rail freight and public transport at a national level as a matter of urgency.

Media contacts: David White 0403 871 082

Media 6 Nov

SmartCard fare structure not very smart

The Transport Minister must revise and improve the proposed fare structure for the SmartCards if he wants regular and occasional public transport users to use them.

Under the proposed fare structure, the first 6 trips each week will be charged at full price, with a 50 percent discount to apply to all other trips made within a week. Commuters who now purchase weekly paper tickets, and who make regular trips more than 10 times a week, will be financially disadvantaged if they convert to the new Smartcard system.

Some very frequent users changing from a weekly paper ticket would see their fares more than double.

Occasional bus and train commuters who now buy and use Ten-trip Savers will be similarly disadvantaged.

This is not the way to encourage public transport users to sign on to the SmartCard
system. Translink must offer financial incentives to encourage commuters to use PT services more regularly.

The proposed fare structure will discourage many commuters who for convenience and cost buy weekly tickets, by imposing higher charges on them if they buy a SmartCard.

How dumb is that?

The Minister says that paper tickets will continue to be available. CAST notes however that Translink expects that SmartCards will ultimately replace all paper tickets – apparently without providing comparable fares.

Holders of paper tickets avoid having to remember to swipe their SmartCards or face a penalty.

Translink must offer occasional users a Smartcard version with a similar discount to the Ten-trip Saver, with a six-month validity period.

There must be a weekly cap placed on SmartCard fares, so that the 11th and subsequent trips are free of charge.

Translink must devise and introduce innovative incentives to attract more people to use
public transport and to use it regularly.

If the Minister wants more people to use public transport, he must instruct Translink to modify the SmartCard fare structure to make it attractive to existing commuters, and to all those potential passengers who would leave their cars at home if public transport services and fares were an attractive alternative.

Contact David White 0403 871 082

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Media 17 October 2007

Rudd a dud on transport

A group advocating sustainable transport is outraged at Kevin Rudd’s short-sighted and counter productive approach to funding transport in southeast Queensland.

Community Action for Sustainable Transport (CAST) have called on Rudd to immediately withdraw the proposed funding for the Northern Link tunnel in Brisbane ($500 million), Pacific Motorway upgrade ($455 million) and Ipswich Motorway upgrade ($1.1 billion).

“For this amount of money we could have 182 new train carriages to deal with overcrowding issues and to accommodate for the huge increases in patronage that will occur as fuel prices increase,” said CAST spokesperson Tristan Peach

“The ALP’s transport approach is totally flawed and socially inequitable, and will lead to increased congestion, pollution and car dependence at a time when fuel prices are rapidly rising and transport related greenhouse emissions are a huge concern,” said Mr Peach.

“We need major Federal investment in sustainable transport so we can deal with current public transport capacity issues and make it easier for people to walk and cycle,” said Mr Peach.

“Mr Rudd has demonstrated a complete lack of vision, we believe that the money would be far better spent on sustainable transport projects such as buying more train carriages, buying back Brisbane’s Airtrain and extending rail lines from Petrie to Kippa Ring, Beerwah to Maroochydore, Robina to Cooloongatta and Springfield to Ipswich,” said Mr Peach.

“And our cities need comprehensive bikeway networks, not wider roads,” said Mr Peach.

“Labor say they want to ease gridlock, but their policies will increase it,” said Mr Peach.

“This is climate change hypocrisy from Labor – acting like they’re concerned but then adopting policy that will make it worse,” said Mr Peach.

“If Rudd is genuine about his supposed concern for working families then he would be investing money in affordable transport solutions for our suburbs, rather than keeping people in their cars,” said Mr Peach.
“The best way to save lives on the Ipswich Motorway is to give people a better option to driving – putting more cars and trucks on the road does not make it safer,” said Mr Peach.

Media Release 9 October 2007

Feds must buy back Brisbane Air Train

The Federal Government should buy back Brisbane’s Air Train and contribute funds to fast-track rail extensions from Petrie to Kippa-Ring, Beerwah to Maroochydore, Robina to Cooloongatta and Springfield to Ipswich.

Community Action for Sustainable Transport (CAST) and a national coalition of public transport users groups are sending a message to all Federal political parties that it’s time for them to get serious about funding urban public transport.

The groups believe it is in the interests of human health, the economy and the environment for the Federal Government to provide major funding for urban public transport projects.

On Tuesday 9 October CAST are leading the Queensland launch of ‘Moving Australians Sustainably: transport policy in the national interest’ (attached), a document prepared by the Victorian Public Transport Users Association which highlights the economic, social and environmental imperatives for the Federal Government to put major funding into urban public transport.

Executive summary
Full report

“A Federal Government that is serious about reducing congestion, greenhouse emissions, obesity and Australia’s growing trade deficit would be funding urban public transport,” said CAST spokesperson Tristan Peach.

“Historically the Feds have spent the vast majority of transport funding on roads, but it is time for them to take a balanced approach to ensure that Australians have access to affordable transport options,” said Mr Peach.

Media 05 October 2007

Springfield Rail Line – extra stations needed

CAST believe that people in Brisbane’s outer suburbs should have easy access to quality public transport.

Therefore CAST believe that as the State Government builds the heavy rail line from Darra to Springfield they must build the Ellen Grove and Springfield Lakes Railway Stations.

“These stations need to be built as the line is constructed, so people can use the train from these stations at the outset,” said CAST spokesperson Tristan Peach.

“Installing the stations at Ellen Grove and Springfield Lakes will put residents there in walking or cycling distance of a faster, safer and more convenient transport option than what is currently on offer,” said Mr Peach.

“Giving people in Ellen Grove and Springfield Lakes access to rail will mean they might not have to buy that second car, and young people in the area can develop healthy and safe transport habits by walking or cycling to their local train station,” said Mr Peach.

“This will also take pressure off local road networks, as people who normally drive to Gailes or Wacol Station, or who drive all the way to the city, will have a better option,” said Mr Peach.

Queensland Transport have recently stated these stations would be developed later on because these areas have low population densities and there would not be sufficient demand.

But CAST believe Queensland Transport’s approach will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

“If you don’t give people access to quality public transport then of course they’re not going to use it,” said Mr Peach.

“Having easy access to quality public transport infrastructure can change people’s travel patterns and we believe it is definitely a case of build it and they will come,” said Mr Peach.

“The Goodwill Pedestrian Bridge and the Southeast Busway are both great examples of demand exceeding expectations,” said Mr Peach.

“We would also like to know whether Queensland Transport’s projections have taken into account rising fuel prices, which will lead to higher demand for public transport,” said Mr Peach.

The stations would also allow Ellen Grove and Springfield Lakes residents to access Springfield Town Centre, and workers in the Carole Park industrial area to get to work via train.

Currently a bus ride from Ellen Grove to the city can take between 50-60 minutes, but if residents are able to jump on the train they could get to the city in 30 minutes.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Public transport users

Are you a public transport user?

We are trying to form public transport users groups that would operate in different areas around southeast Queensland

For example, Ipswich, South Brisbane or the Gold Coast.

Write us an email at if you would like to be a part of a public transport users group in your area.

These small groups would work on making improvements to their local transport systems, by lobbying local politicians etc.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Media Release 06 August 2007

Southport: T3 lane must go on existing road

A transport lobby group have praised the Transport Minister Paul Lucas for his decision to install T3 lanes on Smith Street at Southport, but have urged the Transport Minister to put it on the existing road, rather than using it as an excuse for widening Smith Street.

The current $9.7 million T3 proposal is to build an extra lane along a 1.3 kilometre section of Smith Street between Geoffrey Avenue and High Street.

“The Minister needs to understand that T3 lanes dramatically increase the capacity of existing roads, meaning you don’t need to widen them or build new ones, even with a growing population” said Community Action for Sustainable Transport (CAST) spokesperson Tristan Peach.

“You can move far more people along the same amount of road simply by allocating it to more efficient road users,” said Mr Peach.

“Putting transit lanes on existing road space is one of the most cost-effective strategies for reducing congestion, and frees up money for improvements to the public transport network” said Mr Peach.

“T3 lanes should be placed on existing roads rather than building new lanes, otherwise the incentive to use the transit lane is taken away because you’re providing more space for single occupant vehicles,” said Mr Peach.

“Widening the road to add a transit lane means you’re giving people incentives to keep driving, rather than making public transport and car pooling a better option,” said Mr Peach.

“Widening the road means you continue to encourage trends of increasing single occupant vehicle use, which leads to more road accidents, pollution, congestion and loss of amenity,” said Mr Peach.

“If we’re serious about improving accessibility for our growing population then we should not be allocating all this money to new roads and road widening. We should be putting T3 lanes on existing road space and investing the money saved into more frequent public transport services,” said Mr Peach.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Media release 31 July 2007

Big red light for Northern Link Tunnel

A sustainable transport group is appalled that Brisbane City Councillors have voted in unanimous support of proceeding with the Northern Link tunnel, and have urged the Federal government to fund urban public transport projects instead.

“This is another move in the wrong direction for Brisbane,” said Community Action for Sustainable Transport (CAST) spokesperson Tristan Peach.

“New car bridges and tunnels increase congestion, pollution, road accidents and social inequity. They have not worked in Sydney, and the impact statements for other TransApex projects predict huge increases in congestion on Stafford Road, Newmarket Road, Gympie Road, Vulture Street, Cordelia Street, Merivale Street and the East-West Arterial as a result of the Airport Link, North South Bypass Tunnel and Hale Street Bridge,” he said.

“Brisbane has all the major roads it needs, what we desperately need is a public transport system that carries 30% (rather than the current 10%) of the population,” he said.

“Despite the rhetoric Council and the State are planning for only 11% of trips to be via public transport in 2026, and as a result congestion and pollution will increase,” he said.

“Council need to roll out a network of transit lanes across the city to make public transport a faster option than the car, they also need to switch their funding priority from cars to public transport, walking and cycling,” said Mr Peach.

Continuous Transit Lanes could be installed within months on most major roads – Coronation Drive, Lutwyche/Gympie Road, Old Cleveland Road, Kelvin Grove Road, Ipswich Road, with buses getting priority at traffic lights – increasing the carrying capacity of these roads and making public transport a more comparable alternative to the car.

“Council also needs to make cycling a better option by installing more cycle paths and bike lanes so people can use their bikes for shorter trips – this is a very cost effective way to reduce congestion,” said Mr Peach.

CAST has urged the Federal government to snub Council’s tunnel vision and to invest their money into real solutions for Brisbane.

“Federal money should also be invested in the heavy rail network, duplicating tracks, track extensions and buying more rolling stock,” Mr Peach.

“We need trains and buses running every 15 minutes, and for new developments to be served by rail at the outset. We also need to take road freight off the roads and put it onto rail,” said Mr Peach.

The State and Council need to work together to focus more new development around railway stations, and to discourage sprawling residential developments in outer areas.

The group believes the decision shows that Council’s approach to climate change is totally hypocritical, with their words saying they are planning to reduce Greenhouse emissions, while their actions do the opposite.

The Australian Greenhouse Office has stated that vehicle kilometres travelled (VKT) in motor vehicles is the primary factor leading to increased greenhouse emissions from the transport sector, and the impact statement for the Airport Link shows that Council and the State are planning for a massive increase in VKT up to the year 2026. The Northern Link will make this even worse,” said Mr Peach.

Councillor Quirk’s suggestion that the best way to improve travel times for public transport users is to spend 1.5 billion on a car tunnel is highly cynical as it comes just months after Council removed the T3 lane from Coronation Drive, leading to longer travel times for public transport users in Brisbane’s West.

“If Councillor Quirk was serious about improving the transport system then instead of pushing for tunnel projects he would be installing transit lanes,” said Mr Peach.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Media release 16 July 2007

Beattie’s Smart City transport proposal

A group advocating sustainable transport has come out in tentative support of Premier Beattie’s vision for Brisbane as a “knowledge city” linked by pedestrian spines and light rail.

Beattie suggested on Sunday he wanted to make Brisbane one of the most pedestrian friendly cities in the world.

But Community Action for Sustainable Transport (CAST) has urged him to start implementing his vision immediately and that it must include improvements for cyclists.

They have also suggested that he fund the plan by diverting money from the costly “Airport Link”, a car tunnel that will increase congestion and pollution across Brisbane.

CAST believe if Beattie wants to achieve a pedestrian friendly city there are a number of strategies he can implement immediately at minimal cost.

(1) Reduce speed limits on roads in the CBD and inner city

(2) Enforce reduced speed limits in these areas through the installation of speed cameras

(3) More bike lanes in the CBD and inner city, linking South Brisbane, the CBD, the Valley and Bowen Hills

(4) Change traffic light phases to give pedestrians longer and more frequent green lights

“We do not need to wait years for new infrastructure to make our city pedestrian friendly – if Beattie is serious about his plan he will implement our cost-effective ideas immediately,” said CAST spokesperson Tristan Peach.

“Pedestrian friendly cities like Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Copenhagen in Denmark have already prioritised pedestrians and cyclists through measures such as these, we do not need to wait 3 years for bureaucrats to do a study before starting to make this vision a reality” said Mr Peach.

Another key aspect of making a city pedestrian friendly is to reduce car traffic, especially in areas well serviced by public transport such as the CBD and South Brisbane.

CAST have urged Beattie to implement a congestion charge and reduce car parking in the CBD to reduce unnecessary traffic and pollution.

“Reducing unnecessary car traffic is essential if we are to make the city cyclist and pedestrian friendly,” said Mr Peach.

Green bridges in Brisbane have been hugely successful with the Goodwill Bridge and Eleanor Schonell Bridge easing congestion, while Brisbane City Council reports show their proposed Hale Street Bridge will increase congestion and pollution.

“Brisbane City Council should consider aborting the misguided Hale Street Bridge project and investing in Beattie’s plan,” said Mr Peach.

“And any new Green bridges must provide adequate room for cyclists who use the bridge for commuting,” he said.

Members of the public can view the report and provide feedback (by 13 August) at or by phoning 1800021818.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Media Release 12 July 2007

Prioritise public safety around construction sites

A Brisbane community group says the Government must change development codes to ensure construction sites do not impact on pedestrian safety.

The call comes after the death of a pedestrian outside a construction site in Brisbane’s CBD where part of a footpath had been closed and alternative crossing arrangements were poorly planned.

Community Action for Sustainable Transport (CAST) have called on Council, development associations and the State Government to launch an inquiry into transport safety around construction sites and to change planning legislation and building codes accordingly.

“We want Brisbane City Council’s planning chairperson Cr David Hinchliffe to take the lead on this inquiry, which must include real public consultation, before implementing the recommendations,” said CAST spokesperson Tristan Peach.

“The safety of the general public must be the highest priority during construction, and development codes must be changed and enforced to ensure this is not an optional extra,” said Mr Peach.

“Arrangements for pedestrians around some sites has been managed reasonably well, for example construction of the inner northern busway on the corner of Albert and Adelaide Street, but others are well below standard,” said Mr Peach.

Dangerous pedestrian arrangements have also been observed at a construction site on the corner of Albert and Margaret Streets, where the footpath was closed abruptly and no alternate crossings or paths were provided.

Public concerns have also been raised about construction and operation of the expensive North-South Bypass Tunnel which will lead to the closure of the footpath along Ipswich Road on the western side at Park Road, forcing many who take that route onto the road as a short cut.

Cycling groups have also voiced concerns about the impacts of the controversial North-South Bypass Tunnel, Airport Link and Hale Street Bridge.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Media release 10 July 2007

CBD road safety: police the attackers, not the victims

A group advocating safe and peaceful transport has slammed the Brisbane City Council and Queensland Police Force response to accidents involving pedestrians in the Brisbane CBD.

A 15 year old girl was killed by a car on Elizabeth Street on Wednesday June 20 and another person was hit by a car on the corner of Wharf and Eagle Street recently.

The response by the Queensland Police Force has been to fine pedestrians for jaywalking and crossing at red lights.

Brisbane City Council’s Transport Chairperson Graham Quirk has said that warnings will be painted on the road in Eagle Street telling pedestrians to watch for cars.

“The government is punishing the victim, not the attacker,” said Community Action for Sustainable Transport spokesperson Tristan Peach.

“Walking is the safest and most peaceful form of transport, and does no harm, while driving a car is dangerous and violent,” he said.

“Government’s response is entrenching a system where violent modes of transport are given priority over peaceful and safe modes,” he said.

“Pedestrians are sick of waiting minutes at traffic lights while cars speed past and endanger their lives,” he said.

CAST have recommended a range of sensible measures that will reduce accidents and fatalities in the city, while making the CBD a more attractive and comfortable place for people to shop.

“What we need in the CBD are reduced speed limits, more speed and red light cameras, signs warning drivers to give way to pedestrians and increased frequency and length of pedestrian phases at traffic lights,” said Mr Peach.

Specific ideas include motor vehicle slow zones on Elizabeth Street (between George and Wharf Street) and George Street (between Elizabeth and Adelaide Street) where a 20-30km/hr speed limit would be enforced by speed cameras.

Other ideas include longer and more frequent pedestrian phases at traffic lights on the corner of Eagle/Creek/Charlotte, Queen/Edward, Edward/Anne and Elizabeth/Albert.

All construction sites (such as the one on the corner of Elizabeth and Albert) must make full accommodations for pedestrians.

“If we are to make Brisbane a liveable and prosperous city we must put human life before vehicle speeds,” said Mr Peach.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Opinion piece

Housing, transport and planning in southeast Queensland

At the end of May Deputy Premier Anna Bligh launched the updated Infrastructure Plan for Southeast Queensland (1).

This “$20 billion” plan provides clues as to the housing and transport challenges that lie ahead for the region.

It was announced that Brisbane, Logan, Redcliffe, Redlands, Pine Rivers and Caboolture will accommodate a large proportion of growth, and that in Pine Rivers and Caboolture most of it will be on undeveloped “Greenfield” sites.

The western corridor around Ipswich will also accommodate growth in Greenfield developments.

These developments on the urban fringe can be problematic.

The 2005 Regional Plan adopted a “balanced” approach to housing – acknowledging the post war trend for suburban fringe housing, but emphasising that more housing needed to be close to public transport and activity centres in existing urban areas.

Greenfield development requires large tax payer subsidies for new power, water and transport infrastructure.

And as well as leading to loss of biodiversity and traffic congestion, housing on the fringe is not as cheap as the development industry would have us believe.

It may offer short term savings on house and land, but these are offset by higher ongoing costs.

The far flung location coupled with lack of public transport options means households often need more than one car and petrol bills strain budgets.

Griffith University researchers found that fringe dwellers are the most vulnerable to rising oil prices which will make it harder to meet mortgage repayments (2).

In addition to this, poor housing design leads to higher energy bills.

We must learn from the mistake of allowing the huge North Lakes development to proceed without linking it to the northern rail line.

For the good of the region most future development in Pine Rivers and Caboolture Shires should be in underutilised land surrounding train stations such as Strathpine, Petrie, Narangba and Burpengary.

Development west of Brisbane should occur around new heavy rail infrastructure and include more local employment options.

If it does not we will see a continuing increase in carnage on the Ipswich motorway, regardless of how much money goes into upgrades and bypasses.

To the State’s credit it has already started work on the rail link between Darra and Springfield in the west.

But another concern raised by the revised Infrastructure Plan is government’s overall reluctance to prioritise rail over roads and busways.

Anyone who uses buses and trains knows that trains are more efficient, even if the bus is on a busway.

Murdoch University Professor Jeff Kenworthy emphasises how rail competes better with cars than buses due to smoother rides, higher speeds and greater reliability.

In a study of more than 80 urban regions he discovered there were no regions where the average speed of bus systems exceeds 26km/hr, while rail systems averaged between 34-43km/hr, in comparison to a general road traffic speed of 34km/hr (3).

Current government initiatives such as rail line duplications on the Ferny Grove, Gold Coast and Ipswich lines are steps in the right direction.

But its time for the Infrastructure Plan to be redeveloped – guided by a hard-headed analysis of the relative costs and benefits of investing in rail versus roads and busways.

The rail link between Darra and Springfield must continue on as a four track line through the Ripley Valley linking back into Ipswich.

The transport corridor between Petrie and Kippa-Ring must be developed as rail, possibly servicing North Lakes.

The northern line must extend to coastal centres such as Maroochydore and Mooloolaba, and the southern line to Coolangatta.

In Brisbane, its time to junk the amateurish “TransApex” road projects and analyse the option of tunnelling for heavy rail between major activity generators such as the CBD and UQ St Lucia.

Tunnelling is occurring now to build the new busway from Roma Street to Queen Street.

This is a positive project but the unfortunate reality is that it will be at capacity within two weeks of opening due to the limited capacity of buses.

The billions spent on short lengths of busway could be even better spent on placing a comprehensive network of transit lanes on existing roads across the city, while investing leftover funds into improving the frequency and coverage of services.

Drivers need not fear because they will finally have a safer, cheaper, greener and more convenient alternative to the car.

Congestion will reduce considerably once a quarter of trips are on public transport and this will benefit couriers, tradespeople and others who still have to drive.

Chris Hale is an urban economist, researching land use and transport at the University of Queensland's Centre for Transport Strategy.
Tristan Peach is a part-time tutor and lecturer in urban planning at QUT


(1) Bligh, A. (Tuesday 29 May 2007) $20.2 billion earmarked for infrastructure in greater Brisbane, Queensland Government Media Release.
(2) Dodson and Sipe. (2005) ‘Oil Vulnerability in the Australian City’ in Urban Research Program Research Paper 6.
(3) Kenworthy, Murray-Leach and Townsend (2005) ‘Sustainable urban transport’ in The natural advantage of nations: business opportunities, innovation and governance in the 21st century. Earthscan, London.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Media 27 June 07

Fast track rail improvements for Southeast Queensland

Despite its flaws, Queensland Rail’s City Train network is still one of the most reliable public transport systems in Australia’s capital cities and should be expanded so that more people have access to it.

The City Train rail network is on time for the vast majority of trips (92.6% on-time average in peak hour 2005/2006) compared with Sydney where the system only reached a 92% on-time average 12 in every 20 days (54% of the time).

In Melbourne, the on-time performance of the Connex rail network recently dropped to 90.8% as a result of a damaged train fleet, and Connex was forced to pay compensation to regular users.

“Rail has greater speed and capacity than cars and buses, and will best cope with meeting the transport needs of the growing region,” said CAST spokesperson Tristan Peach.

It is safer, faster and more comfortable than cars and buses, with international research on 80 cities showing there were no regions where the average speed of bus systems exceeds 26km/hr, while rail systems averaged between 34-43km/hr, in comparison to a general road traffic speed of 34km/hr.

“In Southeast Queensland current and planned rail upgrades need to be prioritised by the State Government, with money to be taken from low-priority road projects such as the disastrous Airport Link tunnel,” said Mr Peach.

“We are also encouraging frustrated rail commuters to write to Transport Minister Paul Lucas to tell him what needs to be improved,” said Mr Peach.

CAST believe rail improvements need to be fast-tracked such as:

(1) The rail link between Darra and Springfield must continue on as a four track line through the Ripley Valley linking back into Ipswich.

(2)The transport corridor between Petrie and Kippa-Ring must be developed as rail, possibly servicing North Lakes.

(3) The northern line must extend to coastal centres such as Maroochydore and Mooloolaba, and the southern line to Coolangatta.

(4) Work needs to be done with timetable integration, for example the Ipswich train (coming from Caboolture) often narrowly misses the connecting Ferny Grove train at Bowen Hills, which can lead to a wait of up to one hour

(5) Improved bike and pedestrian paths and lighting around railway stations

MEDIA CONTACT: Tristan Peach 0416-478-615QR CityTrain


QR CityTrain

Sydney Rail Corp

Connex Melbourne

Kenworthy, Murray-Leach and Townsend (2005) ‘Sustainable urban transport’ in The natural advantage of nations: business opportunities, innovation and governance in the 21st century. Earthscan, London.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Media 18 June 2007

Hazardous cycle lane blockage on Victoria Bridge

A frustrated cycling commuter contacted CAST this morning to report that the inbound cycle lane on Victoria Bridge (Brisbane City) was blocked when she rode across the bridge at 8:30am (Monday 18 June).

After further investigation it was confirmed that the lane was blocked by a long, metal temporary fence which still remained after 9am despite being reported to the Brisbane City Council call centre.

Cyclists were forced to suddenly merge with heavy vehicle traffic because there was no prior warning signage and no opportunity for cyclists to turn around and get off the bridge onto the footpath.

“This dangerous and unnecessary hazard shows the kind of contempt the Government has for cyclists,” said CAST spokesperson Tristan Peach.

“Government would never allow an important car route to be blocked unnecessarily without warning,” said Mr Peach.

“Cyclists are treated like second class citizens in Brisbane, and we demand an apology for this mistake and and assurance that it will not happen again,” said Mr Peach.

This bike lane is popular with the many cyclists coming from West End, South Brisbane, Highgate Hill and Dutton Park.

The barrier may have been left on the road after an event or road closure on the weekend.

CAST believe Brisbane needs a full network of cycle paths and lanes to encourage more people to use their bike as a mode of transport for accessing work, shops and other services.

“Brisbane’s current cycle network is a hotch potch of fragmented paths along creeks and occasional bike lanes on roads that randomly disappear,” said Mr Peach.

CAST also want to see more bicycle lockers at railway stations to encourage people to cycle for shorter trips.

“Some well used railway stations have only four bike lockers, which are all in use, while people who lock their bikes to fences or poles risk having them stolen,” said Mr Peach.

Media 14 June 2007

Council budget - “Moving Brisbane” in the right direction?

Brisbane City Council’s 2007/2008 transport budget is a slight improvement from last year, but has still failed to get the balance right.

Initial analysis shows that $450million (69%) is devoted to roads; $173mil (27%) to public transport; $24mil (4%) to walking and cycling; and $2.5 million (>1%) to travel demand management.

“The Lord Mayor and Councillors will not achieve their election mandate of reducing congestion until spending on walking, cycling and public transport exceeds road spending,” said CAST spokesperson Tristan Peach.

“Brisbane does not need any new major roads – what we need are public transport, walking and cycling networks that carry 30 to 40 percent of trips – only then will congestion be reduced,” said Mr Peach.

“By wasting money on unnecessary road projects the Council is putting a huge additional burden on ratepayers, and wasting money that should be spent on climate change programs and increasing the rainwater tank rebate,” said Mr Peach.

The $173 million for public transport is a $44 million increase from the $129 million allocation for public transport in 06/07 budget.

CAST believe this money needs to go into cost effective projects that have major benefits for public transport users.

“This year we want to see a comprehensive network of T3 lanes rolled out across the city, more high frequency BUZ services and more buses feeding into train stations,” said Mr Peach.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Petition to QLD Government

Implement the Integrated Transport Planning Framework

To: the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland

Also available to sign online at

This petition by residents of the State of Queensland draws to the attention of the House the need for positive action by the State and Local Councils in Queensland to implement the recommendations of the Integrated Transport Planning Framework (ITPF).

Non-adoption of the ITPF effectively limits potential investment in sustainable transport. This is against a backdrop where greenhouse gas emissions are acknowledged as a main contributor to climate change - with road transport being a primary cause. The population of Queensland is expanding at such a rate that increasing the number of roads will not adequately address congestion and access issues in places like Brisbane. Transport planning methods, such as the ITPF, which incorporate assessment of environmental, social and economic sustainability concerns are now vitally important - with sustainability featuring prominently on the community agenda.

Your petitioners therefore request the House to take steps to positively implement the ITPF, by legislative means if necessary. Implementation would likely lead to greater consideration in transport planning for alternative investment options - which would be evaluated in competition to the economic, social and environmental impacts of large-scale road transport developments. Implementation of the ITPF would allow greater scope for investing in a comprehensive, affordable integrated public transport system and a modern electrified rail-freight network. It would introduce additional impetus to provide affordable infrastructure for cycling and walking. In summary, the methods proposed through the ITPF should facilitate consideration of cost-effective transport options that provide for a safer, cleaner environment and a healthier population. As the ITPF represents an enlightened document that has the support of State and local governments in Queensland, we request the adoption of the ITPF process and methods in all transport planning efforts.




Post petitions to Community Action for Sustainable Transport PO Box 1260 Fortitude Valley Q 4006 by 30 June 2007

Friday, April 13, 2007

National petition

Petition to Federal Government on Sustainable Transport

Please print and get signatures on this petition, which was started by the Public Transport Users Association of Victoria. Post your completed petitions to Community Action for Sustainable Transport PO Box 1260 Fortitude Valley Q 4006 by June 31 and we will submit them.

To: The House of Representatives, Parliament of Australia
Cc: The Hon John Howard MP, Prime Minister
The Hon Mark Vaile MP, Minister for Transport
The Hon Peter Costello MP, Treasurer

We the undersigned, noting that:

The House Standing Committee on Environment and Heritage Report on Sustainable Cities recommended a review of the current FBT concessions for car use with a view to removing incentives for greater car use and extending incentives to other modes of transport; and that the Australian Government significantly boost its funding commitment for public transport systems, particularly light and heavy rail, in the major cities;

The Senate Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Report on Australia’s future oil supply and alternative transport fuels recommended that the government review the statutory formula in relation to fringe benefits taxation of employer-provided cars to address perverse incentives for more car use; and that AusLink corridor strategy planning take into account the goal of reducing oil dependence; and

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia recommends that the concessionary treatment of motor vehicle use under the fringe benefits tax provisions should be ended as it undesirably distorts economic behaviour;

Respectfully call upon the Commonwealth to:

Amend the motor vehicle fringe benefits statutory formula to encourage the minimisation of motor vehicle use; and

Provide funding for the expansion and improvement of urban and regional public transport infrastructure on a scale comparable to Commonwealth road funding.





Climate change in Brisbane

Public Comment on Brisbane Council Climate Change Taskforce Report

Brisbane City Council have produced a report entitled 'A call for action' covering Climate Change and Peak oil.

It can be downloaded from

Councillors will debate this report on Monday 30 April and members of the public will have 30 days after this to make submissions on the report.

Email your submissions to

Monday, April 02, 2007

Ipswich transport

Prime Minister - what about public transport for Ipswich?

Since the March 5 announcement that the Federal Government would be investing $2.3 billion into the Goodna Bypass, Community Action for Sustainable Transport (CAST) have been waiting for the Prime Minister and Federal Minister for Transport to announce how much they would be spending on public transport, freight rail, walking and cycling to “solve” Ipswich traffic needs.

“We believe the decision by the Federal Government to only fund road infrastructure is socially inequitable, economically irresponsible, environmentally destructive and will lead to more road accidents in the future. They must take responsibility for providing a balanced solution” said CAST spokesperson Tristan Peach.

Socially inequitable
Funding private transport is discriminatory. Australian Bureau of Statistics figures for 2001 show that 9.21% of Ipswich households did not have a car (1). 28% of Ipswich people are 16 years or younger meaning they cannot drive (2) and research in the Goodna/Gailes area has found that many unemployed people cannot access work due to lack of public transport to surrounding factories (3).

Economically irresponsible
Investing exclusively in road infrastructure at a time when global oil prices are expected to continue rising is economically irresponsible. Households will be paying more for road transport in the future. Research (4) has shown that people in the outer areas of cities, who travel the furthest and have the poorest access to public transport, will be the worst affected. And as fuel costs for road freight increases the cost of goods will also increase.

Environmentally destructive
The Goodna Bypass is an investment in two of the most greenhouse intensive modes of transport. At a time when the Federal Government are attempting to reduce greenhouse emissions they should be investing in transport solutions to increase the proportion of people travelling to work via public and active transport from 9.19% in 2001 (5) to at least 20%.

Road safety
Cars and trucks are dangerous forms of urban transport. Planning for massive increases in use will not reduce the amount of road accidents. International comparisons (6) show that Queensland has 8 road deaths per 100,000 people while places with higher use of public and active transport had lower rates. The Netherlands has 4.9, Sweden 5.3, Switzerland 6.9 and the United Kingdom 5.6.

End notes
(1) ABS Ipswich Local Government Area table b29 - note 49 of these households owned 1 or more motorcycles/scooters.
(2) ABS Ipswich Local Government Area table x01 Age by Sex
(3) Big Road, no transport: a report of the Goodna and Gailes community mapping for transport improvements study page 36
(4) Oil Vulnerability in the Australian City
(5) ABS Ipswich Local Government Area table x30 Mode of travel to work (employed persons)
(6) Australian Transport Safety Bureau ‘International road safety comparisons: the 2004 report’

Media Release Thurs 22 March

Bring back the T3 lane now!

Community Action for Sustainable Transport (CAST) believes Brisbane City Council’s decision to re-open the T3 lane on Coronation Drive is another step in the wrong direction for Brisbane’s transport system.

“Just like the tunnels and Hale Street Bridge, the decision to scrap the T3 on Coronation Drive will increase congestion,” said CAST spokesperson Tristan Peach.

“At a time when government should be encouraging and rewarding people for car pooling and catching public transport they are doing the exact opposite,” he said.

1 full bus takes 40 cars off the road, a car with 3 people in it takes 2 other cars off the road.

CAST believes removing the T3 lane means travel times for car poolers and bus users will blow out, and the lane will soon be just as congested as the other lanes.

“Why is Council punishing car poolers and public transport users and rewarding single-occupant vehicles drivers?” asked Mr Peach.

The Lord Mayor’s claim that only 5% of vehicles on Coronation Drive can use the transit lane totally misses the point.

“It’s not about the number of vehicles they move – it’s about the number of people. Transit lanes are designed to carry more people with fewer vehicles,” said Mr Peach.

“T3 lanes reduce congestion by making more efficient use of existing road space,” said Mr Peach.

“If the Lord Mayor is serious about reducing congestion he should be promoting the use of transit lanes and adding more across the city,” he said.

“If people choose not to car pool or catch the bus during peak periods then they must accept that there will be a certain level of congestion,” said Mr Peach.

CAST are demanding:
(i) The Coronation Drive T3 lane is reinstated
(ii) Council develop internet-based car pooling systems for local communities and workplaces so people can develop car pooling networks

Monday, March 19, 2007

Media release Mon 19 Mar

Take the heat off the Bombay Express

Community Action for Sustainable Transport (CAST) calling on government to improve travel conditions and reduce travel times for train commuters travelling between the Gold Coast and Brisbane.

“We want to see more trains on the Gold Coast line, particularly during peak hours, to ensure all passengers are comfortable,” said CAST spokesperson Tristan Peach.

“We also want the government to look seriously into another rail crossing of the Brisbane River, to relieve the congestion that occurs on the Merivale train bridge,” said Mr Peach.

The limited capacity of the Merivale Bridge can lead to delays for train commuters.

CAST are interested in a rail link between Dutton Park Station, QUT Gardens Point Campus, Riverside (Eagle Street) and Cathedral Square, with a link back into either Brunswick Street or Central Stations.

This would spread the load of commuter traffic entering the CBD across a number of stations, and give people better access to areas of the CBD not currently serviced by train.

A duplication of Merivale Bridge may not solve the problem because Roma Street Railway Station could have trouble handling increased capacity.

It recently lost one train platform to make way for the inner-northern busway.

However, to compensate for this they have rebuilt Platform 2 & 3 with dual-gauge tracks to allow usage by both narrow gauge and standard gauge stock. Platform 3 has also been extended to accomodate long distance trains such as the Spirit of the Outback and the Sunlander.

For longer trips (+10km) in urban areas CAST support rail over bus travel and are urging government to fast-track rail links between Petrie and Redcliffe, and between Darra, Springfield and Ipswich.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Media release Tues 13 Mar

More buses for UQ St Lucia

Community Action for Sustainable Transport (CAST) are urging TransLink to increase the number of bus services to the University of Queensland (UQ) campus at St Lucia.

15000 people catch the bus to UQ each morning and half of these people use routes 109, 169 and 209 via the Eleanor Schonell Bridge.

In response to huge demand TransLink have added just one more service to each of these routes.

“They’ve only added an additional 120 seats to deal with overcrowding on a route that carries more than 7000 people each morning,” said CAST spokesperson Tristan Peach.

“Public transport users deserve better than this. We think an additional 30 services would be far more appropriate,” said Mr Peach.

These additional services could be on existing routes and there is also a possibility of introducing a feeder bus linking Dutton Park Railway Station to UQ via the Schonell Bridge.

CAST have also suggested that Route 209, which travels along Old Cleveland Road from Carindale should be given priority at traffic lights to reduce travel times for public transport users.

“Increasing the capacity and reducing travel times on these routes will reward existing public transport users, and entice others to get out of their cars and onto the bus,” said Mr Peach.

CAST believe if Translink can get this right then there may not be a need for Brisbane City Council to build the controversial Hale Street Bridge.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Media release Mon 5 March

Smart options to reduce traffic on Kingsford Smith Drive

Community Action for Sustainable Transport (CAST) are promoting a range of options for reducing traffic on Kingsford Smith Drive.

“Airport Link, construction traffic from the North-South Tunnel, the North Shore development, Portside and the Cruise Ship terminal are all going to be creating more traffic on Kingsford Smith Drive, so we need a smart plan to deal with this*”, said CAST spokesperson Tristan Peach.

CAST are proposing a range of options that will reduce traffic, improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions:

(1) An extension of the Doomben railway line to service the North Shore development and the Cruise Ship Terminal at Hamilton. There is already a freight line between Doomben and the Hamilton Wharves which could be utilised by CityTrains.

(2) Council’s planned walkway/bikeway along the Brisbane River linking Hamilton, Breakfast Creek, Teneriffe, New Farm, Fortitude Valley and the City must be completed in the next year

(3) A rapid public transport service linking Hamilton with the City via Kingsford Smith Drive – Breakfast Creek Street and Ann / Whickham Street utilising the existing 300 and 305 bus services. This service could have priority at traffic lights along the route and if traffic impedes the buses then a peak-hour bus/cycle priority lane should be provided

(4) A new City Cat Stop at the Eastern end of the North Shore development with high frequency services throughout the day

(5) Car-pooling and car-sharing programs for workers and residents at North Shore, Portside and the Cruise Ship terminal.

These improvements would provide significant benefits to the tourism industry by servicing the Cruise Ship Terminal.

Improvements to Brisbane-wide transport services would also be required to make these options totally effective.

Brisbane City Council’s proposal is to widen Kingsford Smith Drive and Nudgee road.

“Council’s option for reducing traffic on Kingsford Smith Drive should be tested against our options,” said Mr Peach.

“Given that the Airport Link tunnel is a major cause of this extra traffic I am concerned that building more roads will just create more problems,” he said.

* The Airport Link impact statement (table 9-10 traffic and transport technical paper) shows that east of Cooksley Street (on Kingsford Smith) traffic will increase by 8.23% by 2016 (66,900 in 2004; 71,000 2016) with Airport Link. East of Racecourse Road traffic will increase by 25.87% by 2016 with Airport Link. The North Shore development at Hamilton is predicted to have 10,000 residents.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Springfield to Ipswich public transport corridor

Public Transport Corridor has Benefits

With plans for Ipswich and Springfield to become the two major western regional centres, it is imperative to plan for and provide appropriate transport infrastructure. The community benefits associated with public transport are well established. In developed urban areas well designed public transport can provide the most efficient commuting times during peaks, along with social benefits of affordable access to employment and services. Further, in an era where the consequences of global warming and its causes can no longer responsibly be ignored it is important to note that mass public transport burns 50% less energy than cars (1).

For public transport to provide a true alternative to car travel it must offer competitive travel times. The existing public transport between Ipswich and Springfield and between Flinders View/Yamanto and Springfield are fragmented and slow, and are not a competitive with the car. Without factoring in walking time, it presently takes at best between 45mins and an hour to travel between Ipswich and Springfield and around 1.5 hours from Flinders View/Yamanto. Travelling between these locations can require switching between 2-3 buses or trains.

The proposed options (1A, 1B, 2A & 2B) for the rail extension through Springfield and back into Ipswich have the potential to provide a fast and seamless public transport link for current and future residents. We estimate the corridor would reduce travel times between Ipswich and Springfield to 30mins and from Flinders View/Yamanto to 22mins. Similar improvements are to be expected for other surrounding suburbs of both Ipswich and Springfield and the corridor also significantly benefits the developing townships of Wulkuraka, Brassall, Rosewood and Walloon west of Ipswich.

The route option proposed by some to avoid Yamanto and Flinders View by going around RAAF Base Amberley (most viably via Wooloon) is inferior. It would increase travel times between Ipswich and Springfield dramatically (an estimated 45min Vs 30mins) with no change in transit time to Rosewood. Secondly there are fewer popular destinations and residential areas serviced by the route (i.e UQ, One Mile etc). Servicing UQ Ipswich by a dedicated public transport corridor would seriously enhance accessibility for those wishing to further their qualifications as previous experience has shown at several other major Universities in capital cities in Australia.

We support the Ipswich City Council and the State Government for taking a responsible approach to planning by assessing the most viable options for public transport. Poor quality public transport will not be sufficiently patronised and this will result in increased traffic noise, congestion and air pollution in residential areas as car use increases. The options for the corridor should be assessed on the basis of their benefits and impacts on the overall region, balanced with proportionate consideration for those areas most affected. Whilst ideally the current study should have been conducted earlier; to ignore the Ipswich region’s future transport needs in light of the dramatic population increases predicted would only cause potentially far greater disruption at a later date.

(1) Rail Research Industry Report, Project 24 Rail transport energy efficiency and sustainability, available at

For more information on the project refer

To write a letter to newspapers (300 words maximum) and the transport minister regarding this project :
Ipswich News
Queensland Times
Paul Lucas (Transport Minister)

Monday, February 26, 2007

Media Release 26 Feb

Tall train problem can be cut down

Yesterday it was revealed that the first few trains of a new batch being made for the Queensland Rail CityTrain network will not fit under the train tunnel between Central and Brunswick Street stations.

Community Action for Sustainable Transport (CAST) are calling on Queensland Rail to put in place strict policies and protocols to ensure there are no accidents.

“We need to be certain that QLD rail staff and train commuters are not put at risk by this design flaw,” said CAST spokesperson Tristan Peach.

The group have suggested that if necessary the “tall” trains could bypass Central and Brunswick Street Stations by using the tracks between Roma Street and Bowen Hills, possibly utilising the Exhibition station to service Fortitude Valley and Spring Hill.

CAST are also urging the State government to quickly rectify the design flaw and to get the rest of the batch online as quickly as possible.

“This is an unfortunate mistake but we do not want the Transport Minister to be discouraged – he must fix the problem and press on full steam ahead with the rest of the batch”, said Mr Peach.

“New trains and more train services are a high priority for Southeast Queensland, and we’d also like to also see the Minister push ahead with the duplication of the rail bridge between South Brisbane and Roma Street”, said Mr Peach.

Media contact: Tristan Peach 0416478615

Photos from Walk for Sustainable Transport

Follow this link to see some photos from the February 17 Walk for Sustainable Transport

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Media release 16 Feb

North Bank development must restrict car parking

Community Action for Sustainable Transport (CAST) are urging the State Government to consider the transport requirements of the North Bank development to avoid it becoming a traffic disaster.

The group believe the amount of car parking provided on site should be minimised due its proximity to public and active transport networks.

“If the State do this development badly it will put more cars on the city’s roads, increase the amount of pollution and reduce the attractiveness of the CBD,” said CAST spokesperson Tristan Peach.

“We think 80% of workers and visitors could easily access the 150,000sqm commercial precinct by foot, bicycle or public transport, and only bare minimum parking should be provided for the 480 apartments,” said Mr Peach.

North Bank is serviced by City Cat, Council Ferry, South Brisbane and Central railway stations, the Myer Centre and Cultural centre busway stations, the free City Loop bus service, the Goodwill Bridge and the Coronation Drive bikeway.

CAST suggest that for the commercial precinct parking and access should be provided for bicycles (with secure bike parking and shower/change rooms), taxis, public transport, service vehicles, emergency vehicles, people with disabilities and motorcycles/scooters, but only a limited number of car spaces should be provided for shoppers and workers.

“We should not be encouraging people to drive to North Bank when the public transport options are so fantastic,” said Mr Peach.

“Most people could easily drive to a train or busway station and jump on a fast, air-conditioned public transport service to access North Bank” he said.

“Car pooling should be encouraged for workers in the precinct who need to drive, and a car sharing scheme should be in place for residents in the apartments so they don’t even need to own a car,” said Mr Peach.

CAST’s position is consistent with Brisbane City Council’s City Centre Masterplan which states:

  • Long–term commercial parking for the general public within the city centre is strongly discouraged. (p.51)
  • Restricting the amount of additional car parking can act to lessen the potential for conflict between cars and pedestrians and can improve pedestrian amenity. (p.31)
  • Expand Park and Ride facilities at existing rail stations and bus interchanges to encourage unnecessary traffic to stay out of the city centre (p. 176)

Media contact: Tristan Peach 0416478615

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Media release 9 Feb

Brisbane Council hypocritical on climate change & transport

Community Action for Sustainable Transport (CAST) want Brisbane City Council to put their money where their mouth is on climate change.

Council’s 2006-2007 budget allocates a tiny $412,000 to Greenhouse Gas Reduction (strategy 9.6.3) while pouring 503 million into planning for increased car use (page 102).

Per kilometre a person travelling in a car burns more than three times the fuel as someone in a bus and 42 times more fuel than a train passenger. (Australian Greenhouse Office 2002, National Greenhouse Gas Inventory 2000 with Methodology Supplements 1990, 1995 and 2002)

“If Council are serious about reducing greenhouse emissions then they must massively increase funding to their Greenhouse strategy and stop funding projects that will increase emissions”, said CAST spokesperson Tristan Peach.

The group are particularly concerned about Council’s misguided Transport policy.

“Council are planning to massively increase greenhouse emissions from Brisbane’s transport system over the next 20 years”, said Mr Peach

The Airport Link Environmental Impact Statement shows that Council are planning to increase the number of car trips from 3.6 million per day in 2004 to 5.2 million in 2026 (table 7-1 traffic and transport technical report). Vehicle kilomotres travelled in cars will increase to 55 million on an average weekday in 2012, 66 million in 2022 and 71 million in 2026 (table 9-8)

At the same time Council have abandoned the targets for increased public transport use in the Transport Plan for Brisbane and are only planning to increase public transport use from 7.5% of all trips in 2004 to 11.1% in 2026 (table 7-1 Airport Link traffic and transport technical report).

“Increasing public transport use by 0.16% each year over the next twenty years is simply not enough, and what are Council’s plans for walking and cycling, the most greenhouse friendly transport modes?” asked Mr Peach.

The idea that we can plan for increasing amounts of car use and let technology fix the problems has been refuted by Council’s own State of the Environment Report which states:

‘…relying on introduction of new technology into the vehicle fleet is not sufficient, given that uptake rates are slow and that these technologies often work efficiently only in well-maintained vehicles.’ (Air section – page 33)

Consultation undertaken after the establishment of Council’s climate change taskforce in late 2006 shows that the community know the best ways to reduce transport emissions:

‘Most suggestions promoted embracing transport options other than private motor vehicles. Suggestions included:
- reducing the cost of public transport for users
- increasing frequency, destinations, and connectivity of buses
- restricting car parking in the CBD and introducing a CBD congestion tax
- extending CityCat services
- improving connectivity and safety of pathways and bikeways’

CAST are holding a walk for sustainable transport on 11am Saturday February 17 in Queens Park, Brisbane City (Corner of Elizabeth and George Streets).

Media contact: Tristan Peach 0416478615

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Media release 25 Jan

Airport Link - traffic and pollution disaster on Stafford Road

There will be huge increases in traffic on Stafford Road as a result of the Airport Link tunnel.

Council’s own impact statement for the project shows that without Airport Link there will be an average of only 26700 cars per day on Stafford Road in 2012, while with Airport Link there will be 40300.

By 2026 it will be 29100 without Airport Link compared with 45500 with Airport Link.

“We are being told by government that Airport Link will reduce congestion, but the fact is that it will do the exact opposite,” said Tristan Peach, CAST spokesperson.

CAST are advising the public that Airport Link will lead to the following impacts on Stafford Road:

* On- and off-street parking for business and residents will become more dangerous and traffic accidents will increase

* Travel times for public transport users will blow out as they get stuck in congestion

* Residents, business and schools will suffer from more toxic fumes and noise pollution

* Safety and amenity for pedestrians and cyclists will be greatly reduced

Local, State and Federal Politicians for this area are failing their constituents if they support Airport Link.

Mr Peach stated, “We have a simple and effective solution to this problem - the money from Airport Link should be spent on additional public transport so that we can reduce traffic on Stafford Road, reduce accidents and reduce poisonous fumes in the air”.

Media contact: Tristan Peach 0416478615

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Media release 24 Jan

Stop the carnage on Ipswich Motorway – improve public transport

The most effective way of reducing accidents and fatalities on the Ipswich Motorway is to improve the public transport connections between Ipswich and Brisbane, making it a comparable alternative to the car for more people.

Community Action for Sustainable Transport (CAST) believe the problems on the motorway can be best solved by reducing the amount of vehicular traffic on the roads.

“Many people would not have to use this road if there was a public transport system in place which offered a comparable alternative to the car in peak and off-peak times,” said CAST spokesperson Tristan Peach

"We also need to move more heavy road freight to rail freight - which is a far safer way of moving goods," he said.

The group believes political leaders with vision and determination would be focusing on the following policies:

* Create more jobs in Ipswich so that more Ipswich people can work locally
* Improve the frequency of train services on the Ipswich line from 1 per 30minutes to 1 per 15 minutes
* Feeder buses to connect with all stations to meet all trains
* Improved safety and amenity around railway and bus stations
* Improve the horrendously slow passenger rail connection between Brisbane and Toowoomba
* Fast track railway duplications
* Fast track the rail extension linking Springfield and the rest of the western development corridor with Brisbane and Ipswich
* Improve the freight rail network

The group acknowledges that there will still be a demand for this motorway in the future (from tradespeople, couriers and other people who need to drive) but asserts that these strategies will take lots of cars off the motorway and get people into safer modes of transport.

“If we are to really reduce the carnage then we must make public transport a real option for more Ipswich people,” said Tristan Peach, CAST spokesperson.

“These strategies are safer, more cost-effective and more environmentally friendly than the government’s short-sighted upgrade schemes,” he said.

Media contact: Tristan Peach 0416478615

Monday, January 22, 2007

Media release 23 Jan

What the community needs from our public transport system

A survey by the Australian Bureau of Statistics* has revealed key strategies required to improve southeast Queensland’s transport system.

The study showed that 80% of people drove to work or study, while in Queensland only 10% of people used public transport.

35% of Queenslanders surveyed reported that they did not use public transport because there simply was not a public transport service in their area.

“This shows that if we provided more public transport services then we could take tens of thousands of cars off the road each day,” said CAST spokesperson Tristan Peach.

25% reported they did not use public transport because the services were not available at a convenient time, and 14% said that travel times were too long.

“This could be easily fixed too,” said Mr. Peach “By increasing the frequency of services and speeding up services by doing simple things like providing more bus lanes on existing roads”.

“We think the State government’s commitment to extremely expensive busway tunnels is not the most cost-effective way to improve public transport – just put more bus lanes on existing roads.”

“This survey shows that government have failed to provide the people of Queensland with an adequate public transport system, and that’s why we’re experiencing these car congestion and pollution problems.”

“But this survey also shows just how easy it would be to get people out of their cars and into sustainable transport,” said Mr Peach.

CAST believes public transport funding in Brisbane City Council’s 2007/2008 budget must be increased to 35% of the transport budget (in 2006/2007 it was less than 20%), with the money invested into more bus services across the city.

The state government must speed up the delivery of additional train carriages to deal with over-crowding in peak hours which would also allow trains to run at higher frequencies throughout the week.

Media contact: Tristan Peach 0416478615

* Australian Bureau of Statistics, Environmental issues: people’s views and practices 4602.0 (released November 2006)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Media release 19 Jan

RiverCity Motorway misleading public on North-South Bypass Tunnel

Community Action for Sustainable Transport believes RiverCity Motorway (the consortium responsible for building, owning and operating the North-South Bypass Tunnel) is misleading the public through their advertising.

RiverCity Motorway’s advertisements claim that the North-South Bypass Tunnel is “designed to alleviate the high congestion on Brisbane ’s roads”.

But RiverCity Motorway's tunnel design is forecast to cause a 12% increase in traffic on surface connecting roads when compared with a No-tunnel option

And it leads to a 15% increase in traffic when compared with Council’s original NSBT design.

CAST believes RiverCity Motorway is likely to be satisfied with continued high levels of traffic congestion on surface roads, in order to encourage more drivers to use the tunnel.

“RiverCity Motorway is responsible to its shareholders, not the people of Brisbane , and the tunnel is designed to increase make a profit, not to reduce congestion on free surface roads,” said CAST spokesperson Tristan Peach.

[For more information refer table 1, page 5 of the Noise and Vibration report prepared for the NSBT www.nsbt-eis. com/assets/ downloads/ ChangeReport/ Heggies_Noise&Vibration_May06. pdf]

Media Contact: Tristan Peach 0416478615

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Media release 17 Jan

Reducing congestion - politicians must practice what they preach

Community Action for Sustainable Transport (CAST) calls on all politicians who are serious about reducing traffic congestion in Brisbane to start practicing what they preach.

“Politicians who are serious about reducing congestion should not be driving to work during peak hours,” said Tristan Peach, the group’s spokesperson.

“Any politician who drives to work during peak hours is contributing to the problem that they claim to be interested in solving,” said Mr. Peach.

CAST is issuing a simple challenge to Lord Mayor Campbell Newman, Deputy Mayor David Hinchliffe and the transport chairs Cr Graham Quirk and Cr Victoria Newton. To show they are serious about reducing congestion, how about walking, cycling or catching public transport to work for two weeks?

If the politicians claim that it is impractical for them to do so, then it’s clear that they have no faith in the transport system that they claim credit for creating.

CAST calls on Council to increase funding for public transport, walking and cycling in its 2007/2008 budget to encourage all residents to use these modes of transport.

Media Contact: Tristan Peach 0416478615

Media Release 15 Jan

Beattie allows toxic waste in Brisbane

Community Action for Sustainable Transport (CAST) believe Peter Beattie’s opposition to nuclear power is in conflict with his support for toxic transport projects in Brisbane .

The Premier has stated that he is opposed to nuclear power because he does not want toxic waste in Queensland communities.

Yet he continues to support transport projects, such as the North-South Bypass Tunnel, Airport Link tunnel and Hale Street Bridge , which will lead to huge increases in toxic vehicle emissions in Brisbane suburbs.

Not only will toxic waste be pumped from industrial chimney stacks to ventilate the tunnels, but there will be more fumes coming from the entire transport network as the government fails to take measures to implement alternatives to increased car use.

CAST calls on the Premier to stop the hypocrisy by withdrawing his government’s support for toxic transport projects.

The money should be poured into environmentally friendly solutions such as more reliable and frequent train services, new train lines and a better bicycle network for Brisbane .

Media contact: Tristan Peach 0416478615

Walk for Sustainable Transport

11am Saturday February 17

Send YOUR PERSONAL MESSAGE to government that public transport, walking + cycling should be their transport PRIORITY, and that you want them to TAKE ACTION NOW!

11am meet at Queens Park, Brisbane City (Cnr George and Elizabeth Street)
Talks by Phil Heywood (professor), Mary Maher (planner) and David Engwicht (author)
Walk through city to parliament house

Info: Tristan 0416478615 or David 0403871082

Organised by: Community Action for Sustainable Transport

Supported by: Epic Cycles, Queensland Greens, Queensland Democrats, Queensland Conservation Council, Friends of Southeast Queensland, Stop the Hale Street Bridge Campaign, West End Community Association, Rail Tram and Bus Union, Socialist Alliance, Friends of the Earth Brisbane, Where's Our Railway