Package of congestion busting measures for QLD

By: Chris Smith

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has announced three flagship congestion busting measures as part of the key to un-locking gridlock in

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has announced three flagship congestion busting measures as part of the key to un-locking gridlock in South East Queensland.

The congestion package includes:

  • Two special heavy duty tow trucks to slash heavy vehicle clearance times on some of the State’s busiest roads.

  • The introduction of specialised police squads to patrol State roads in peak times Monday to Friday to co-ordinate quicker clearance of stricken vehicles.

  • New ‘Open Roads’ legislation to give officers the authority to push cargo and/ or stricken vehicles which are causing an obstruction off our roads without the permission of the owner.

The Premier says since December last year a State Government funded heavy tow truck has been dedicated to the quick clearance of heavy vehicle breakdowns on the Gateway Motorway South.

"This service has been a success – slashing clearance times on Gateway South from an average of 3 hours to an average of just 30 minutes," she says.

"That’s why we are rolling out two more of these quick clearance heavy tow trucks to provide a free service on our roads.

"Of course there will always be incidents involving hazardous substances, like petrol - or accidents involving multiple fatalities that will take longer to clear - but these trucks will slash the average clearance times."

One of the vehicles will now service all the state-controlled roads in greater Brisbane and will be based at Gateway North.

The other will be dedicated to the Logan and Ipswich Motorways and will be based near the Ipswich Motorway interchange.

"There are about 1400 truck incidents on Brisbane's motorways each year," says the Premier.

"More than half of these are minor issues like simple breakdowns but even these can take up to six hours to clear. These trucks will make a real difference."

The Premier says the next congestion busting initiative of new peak time police motorcycle and car patrols means police will be able to detect and manage incidents faster.

"For the first time these dedicated patrols will operate on our road systems at morning and evening peak times," she says.

The scheme means there will be at least one congestion patrol in the morning and afternoon peak times (6am to 9am and 3pm to 6pm) on Monday to Friday in the designated sectors of:

  • Pacific Motorway (City to Springwood)
  • Gateway (Brisbane River to Miles Platting Road)
  • Logan Motorway (Springwood Oxenford to Ipswich Motorway)
  • Ipswich Motorway (Moorooka to Warrego Highway)
  • Bruce Highway (Burpengary to Aspley)
  • Gateway Motorway (Brisbane River to Pine River)

"This will ensure that experienced police officers are on the scene faster and can co-ordinate quicker clearance of vehicles," Bligh says.

The Premier says she believes the State Government has a responsibility to tackle urban congestion in new and innovative ways.

"That’s why my Cabinet has approved the drafting of an ‘Open Roads’ Bill that will extend our powers to clear obstructions from our roads," she says.

"The legislation will empower police to order the removal of cargo and stricken vehicles from our roads without first having to seek permission from the owner.

"For example under current law if a truck rolls over on the Gateway and spills it’s cargo police must first get permission from the cargo owner before they move the goods off the road.

"That can take hours and mean traffic jams that could be avoided if the cargo could simply be moved to the side of the road."

Bligh says the Government will consult with industry, including insurance agencies, once the draft legislation is developed and that the legislation will be introduced by the end of the year.

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