Alternative route to Brisbane airport to flow better with new traffic lights

By: Chris Smith

Travelling to and from the Brisbane Airport will be safer and flow better from next week with new traffic signals

Travelling to and from the Brisbane Airport will be safer and flow better from next week with new traffic signals due to be switched on at the Kingsford Smith Drive–Sugarmill Road intersection.

Main Roads Minister Warren Pitt says the traffic signals—installed by Brisbane City Council and paid for by the State Government—will improve safety and give greater priority to motorists turning right out of Sugarmill Road onto Kingsford Smith Drive.

"Since November last year there has been an increase in the use of this alternative route, relieving the strain on the Airport Drive roundabout," Pitt says.

"This $800,000 traffic lights project, combined with other road improvements in the airport precinct and the recent resurfacing of Sugarmill Road by the city council, will improve safety on this route, as well as boosting capacity.

"It means a safer trip to and from the airport, and an improved alternative route to the Airport Drive roundabout."

Pitt says the new traffic lights have come 12 months after safety-improving traffic signals were switched on at the Airport Drive roundabout.

"Since these signals were switched on, more than 17 million vehicles have travelled through the roundabout, with no recorded crashes," he says.

"Compared to the 12 months immediately before when 11 crashes were recorded, and the 122 crashes in the five years before, this is great outcome.

"The decision to install traffic signals was the right one, and the safety improvements clearly demonstrate that.

"The traffic signals have improved traffic flows on three of the roundabout's four approaches, but have adversely impacted travel times for motorists leaving the airport."

Pitt claims managing congestion around the airport will remain a top priority.

"The Queensland Government is moving ahead with the Airport Link project and a major upgrade of the Airport Roundabout to provide long-term solutions to the traffic impacts of sustained population growth," he says.

"Major works underway as part of the Gateway Upgrade Project and Brisbane Airport Corporation's new northern access road will also result in significant improvements.

"And in the meantime, the Brisbane Airport Task Force—which includes government, Brisbane Airport Corporation, transport, taxi and industry representatives—is busy delivering important initiatives to maintain safety and manage traffic congestion in the airport precinct."

In December 2007 the Brisbane Airport Task Force identified a range of measures improve traffic coming to and from the Airport precinct.

"There has already been a significant increase in motorists using the Kingsford Smith Drive–Sugarmill Road alternative route, easing the strain on the Airport Drive roundabout," Pitt says.

"An expanded network of Traffic Response Units, and the Main Roads and RACQ Motorway Breakdown Response Service, is also helping to ensure traffic incidents are cleared as soon as possible, keeping traffic flowing on Brisbane's key routes."

Public transport for commuters to the airport precinct has also been improved, with additional services and increased frequency for Brisbane Transport bus routes and the Airtrain.

"The Task Force recently launched a website to assist people to plan their trip to the airport precinct, with links to public transport timetables, web cams and traffic updates on road conditions to and from the airport precinct," Pitt says.

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