New rail urgent to facilitate growth

INFRASTRUCTURE is not keeping pace with population growth and will cause gridlock in the next 20 years, according to a new transport study.

The Council of Mayors' regional People Mass Movement Study, to be released in January 2019, will highlight benefits to residents and future transport goals.

The study is an in-depth view of the growth and transport challenges facing the region, ultimately delivering a roadmap to reduce congestion and drive stronger regional connectivity in the coming decades.

While it is being delivered as part of an investigation into a regional 2032 Olympic Games, the Council of Mayors believes the findings are vital to the future of southeast Queensland.

Initial findings from the study have been released, which shows by the Council of Mayors (SEQ) and make fascinating reading for Ipswich commuters.

Currently, it takes 58 minutes to travel by train from Ipswich Central to Brisbane Central.

A proposed faster rail program, to be delivered by 2031, would see a reduction in travel time of 66 per cent to just 20 minutes.

Ipswich administrator Greg Chemello said a faster rail program would be crucial for the region as population soared at an unprecedented rate.

He welcomed a trip of 20 minutes between the two cities.

"We recently passed the 215,000 population point and we are heading towards 500,000 within 20 years," Mr Chemello said.

"It is absolutely vital that public transport is significantly improved to cater for that growth.

"That means rail, buses and a better transport and road network."

The Springfield railway line opened in December 2013, but commuters have to change trains at Darra to get to Ipswich.

The State Government's Connecting SEQ 2031 Plan includes an extension of the Springfield line to Redbank Plains and Ripley - two of the region's fastest growing suburbs - and through to Ipswich.

The council has been lobbying with the State Government to introduce the link sooner, with land available now to build the extension to Redbank Plains and Ripley.

"We can't stress enough the importance of this rail link," Mr Chemello said.

"Ipswich is growing rapidly and we need the transport infrastructure urgently to cope with the population explosion."

The People Mass Movement Study revealed infrastructure delivery in southeast Queensland was not keeping pace with the region's projected population growth.

"Traffic congestion will continue to worsen on all of southeast Queensland's major corridors as we head towards 2031, and by 2041, all major corridors will be over capacity in peak hours conditions," it said.



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