Wednesday, February 28, 2007
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 www.railcrc.com.au
For more information on the project refer http://www.pb.com.au/ISPTCS/
To write a letter to newspapers (300 words maximum) and the transport minister regarding this project :
Ipswich News firstname.lastname@example.org
Queensland Times email@example.com
Paul Lucas (Transport Minister) firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, February 26, 2007
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
Thursday, February 15, 2007
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
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