Cyclists seek access through tunnel
BICYCLE Queensland is working with Transport and Main Roads to examine the feasibility of making the Nundah Tunnel accessible to cyclists.
The 300m tunnel on Sandgate Rd in north Brisbane has three lanes each way separated by a concrete wall, and cyclists and pedestrians are prohibited from entering.
Bicycle Queensland CEO Anne Savage said, "At the moment cyclists are required by law to take a diversion through Nundah Village, which is not ideal for the local business community and riders who are training together.
"The tunnel has always been preferred by cyclists as the safest route for travel along this corridor - with collision and car-dooring risks through Nundah Village.
"Our goal is to enable safer cycling along Sandgate Rd and uninterrupted pedestrian and community use of Nundah Village."
A Transport and Main Roads spokesman said bike riders and pedestrians were currently prohibited from using the tunnel due to safety concerns.
"There is an existing alternative route through Nundah village," he said.
"We acknowledge there is interest from bike riders to access the tunnel as a through route and are about to start a review of the ban.
"We will work with stakeholders during the review to ensure a balanced assessment is undertaken.
"We will also investigate a variety of factors including bike rider safety, road geometry, traffic volumes and existing alternate routes.
"The review is expected to be completed by the end of the year."
The spokesman said pedestrian access to the tunnel would not be considered in the review "and the existing ban will remain".
He said if cyclists were allowed in the Nundah Tunnel it would not set a precedent for access to other Brisbane tunnels.
"Transport and Main Roads assesses any requests for bike rider access to prohibited locations on the state-controlled network on a case-by-case basis," he said.
Ms Savage said they hoped for a decision to make the tunnel lawfully accessible to cyclists before the end of the year.
"(We) have been invited to contribute to the process as an advocate for the cycling community," she said.
"Pending a favourable decision, we expect the tunnel and connection points will require a minor upgrade to ensure cyclist safety.
"We commend the Boondall Road Policing Unit, who helped us bring stakeholders together and have agreed to work with us to gather more information about trip volumes and risks."
Despite the fact there are signs at both entrances to the tunnel indicating cyclists aren't allowed to enter, they do use the tunnel and are sometimes caught by police.
Boondall Road Policing Unit officer in charge Senior Sergeant Martin Bray said they would continue to enforce the laws as they stand at the moment.
"Police do issue infringement notices to cyclists who use the tunnel," Sen-Sgt Bray said.
"It's a safety issue. There is no dedicated bike lane in there for bicycles and nowhere for them to go if it goes bad.
"If a car loses control, it's going to push a bike against the side of the tunnel."
Ms Savage said anyone wishing to share their thoughts or experiences on the Nundah Tunnel can email email@example.com.