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.

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.