Rapid bus plan vital in growth

WITH a large population boom on the cards a rapid bus public transport system could be the key to lightening the load on Ipswich roads in the future.

The State Government's South East Queensland Region Plan 2009-2031, released on Tuesday, predicted Ipswich roads and public transport would have to deal with an extra 275,000 commuters in the next 20 years.

The University of Queensland's Centre for Transport Strategy Professor Phil Charles said the Ipswich City Council had to work with the state and federal governments to make sure the right infrastructure was put into place.

“It's a very complex situation that will have to be carefully worked on,” Professor Charles said.

“To ease congestion on the roads you have to look at a whole suite of options, it's not as easy as saying build more train links.

“You have to look at options like buses, bus ways, rail links and tie that in with the population density and what funds are available.”

Ipswich City Mayor Paul Pisasale said a rapid bus public transport system was currently being investigated by council, the State Government and the upcoming Ripley Valley estate developers.

“We have the university, Riverlink Shopping Centre, the CBD, the hospital and Queens Park which all should be linked by public transport in the future,” Cr Pisasale said.

“I've researched most rapid bus services around the world, and I've seen them work very effectively in Western Australia.”

Transport Minister and Member for Ipswich Rachel Nolan said the State Government would work closely with the Ipswich City Council to improve road congestion by boosting public transport services.

Ipswich Chamber of Commerce president Michael List said strong business growth in the region was dependent on a free-flowing Western Corridor.

“I think the council and state government looking into these public transport options is a good idea,” Mr List said.

“Businesses are already attracted to Ipswich, but if they knew we had a good route to Brisbane and good public transport, that could bring more businesses in the future.”

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