COUNCIL has launched a push for the state government to kick start the stalled $1.3 billion Eastern Busway project from Brisbane to Capalaba.
At a Redland City Council meeting a submission to the state government’s draft South East Queensland Regional Plan was approved which includes an appeal for the project to be restarted and for rail duplication from Manly to Cleveland.
The congestion-busting busway project is a dedicated bus lane down Old Cleveland Road from Buranda to Capalaba, with a link to the University of Queensland, which would more than halve city commute times.
Eastern Busway planning is being revised although its delivery is dependent on securing Commonwealth funds.
It was started under the Bligh government, put on the backburner by the Newman government as part of spending cuts and has remained there while the Palaszczuk government tries to get federal government funding.
Mayor Karen Williams said the draft SEQ plan did not provide timings for the busway and left out other key transport upgrades.
"Our residents have told us that upgraded roads and public transport are critical and we have reflected this in our submission to the state government by asking them to prioritise this infrastructure," Cr Williams said.
"While the draft SEQRP includes extending the Eastern Busway to Capalaba and high frequency public transport to Capalaba, Cleveland, Victoria Point and southern Redland Bay, it fails to provide timeframes for these projects to be delivered, leaving residents in the dark.
"The draft SEQRP also doesn't include the much needed duplication of the Cleveland rail line or improved road links between Redland City and the Port of Brisbane and Gateway Motorway corridor.’’
A spokesperson for the Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said Cross River Rail was the number one infrastructure priority.
“We have also included the Eastern Busway is the new South East Queensland Regional Plan as well as the State Infrastructure Plan,’’ she said.
“...We need the Commonwealth to come to the table with the government and work with us to fund public transport in south east Queensland.
“...Cross River Rail will mean more trains more often on the Cleveland Line, cutting 14 minutes off a journey to the CBD.’’
The busway will ultimately connect the University of Queensland to Capalaba via Buranda, Stones Corner, Coorparoo, Camp Hill, and Carina, radically reducing bus travel times for thousands of commuters by ducking traffic jams.
The Bennetts Road, Cooraparoo to Capalaba leg is expected to cost $1.27 billion, with possible completion dates between 2020 to 2026.
Before the last federal election Opposition leader Bill Shorten promised to build the infrastructure if elected.
Cr Williams said the projects had been included in past state infrastructure plans but had dropped off the radar.