Brisbane needs a plan

Uncertainly over the future of Brisbane’s Eastern Busway needs to be cleared up

There is a renewed charge for construction of the Brisbane’s $1.7 billion Eastern Busway to be prioritised.

Nothing has been done since the first kilometre was opened in 2011 and with no further funding in sight – there are concerns that the project may be abandoned, with no alternative approved.

Brisbane city councillor and infrastructure committee chairperson Adrian Schrinner delivered a speech on the topic at a council meeting last month.

Schrinner says to have just one kilometre of the Eastern Busway completed in 2011 – at the astonishing cost of $465 million – and construction halted since then, was not good enough.

"They built a one kilometre section between Buranda and Main Avenue, Coorparoo," he says.

"Now, it was a good project, but it was only one kilometre out of a 16 kilometre busway corridor.

"After that one kilometre was built, the project came to a crashing halt. Nothing has happened since then."

Schrinner has started a petition to get stage two of the project fast-tracked by the Queensland Government.

"Whether people drive a car or catch a bus, they can see the benefits of this project, because it will benefit both public transport users and motor vehicle users equally," Schrinner says.

"The major centres of our city of Chermside and Carindale are the only principle activity centres in the city that are not serviced by high quality public transport.

"Indooroopilly is serviced by a train line, but both Chermside and Carindale do not have those high quality public transport links."

He says extending the Eastern Busway would see a dedicated bus lane along Old Cleveland Road, which he says is badly needed.

"It's a missing section in the city's transport network and definitely suburbs like Carindale and all the suburbs along Old Cleveland Road don’t have easy access to a train line as an alternative," Schrinner says.

"So buses are really the only option to provide public transport in that corridor."

Schrinner says to have no further progress was a travesty, because the people who stand to benefit from completion of the full 16km project, are residents who live in the outer-eastern suburbs of the city.

If the Queensland Government intends to abandon the project outright, then this must be made clear to the public and a reasonable and effective alternative must be put forward.

"The Queensland Government can come back to me and say, look, we can't afford an Eastern Busway and that's fine. I accept that," Schrinner says.

"But if that's what they’re going to say, what is their alternative?"

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive the ABC e-newsletter, digital magazine and other offers we choose to share with you straight to your inbox

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook