Heavy vehicle relief in hwy plan
THE State Government’s new Bruce Hwy plan will slash the number of heavy vehicle trips through regional Queensland towns by about 3.5 million a year over the next 20 years, Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace promised on Friday.
Mr Wallace said this would be achieved through 10 proposed ring roads, bypasses and deviations that would boost liveability in many regional towns.
“Bypasses, deviations and ring roads play an important role in creating faster, safer and more efficient roads, as well as diverting heavy traffic from built-up and residential areas,” he said.
“Many towns in regional Queensland grew up because the Bruce Hwy passed through them, but many regional towns do not want heavy trucks on their main streets any more.”
One exception may be Tiaro, where public opinion seemed divided yesterday on whether the town should be bypassed.
Chamber of Commerce president Darryl Stewart said Tiaro would not welcome a bypass if it arrived tomorrow, but would eventually need one.
“In 10 to 20 years, Tiaro will have grown enough to support itself without the highway,” Mr Stewart said.
His views were echoed by Peter Kerr from the Tiaro Roadhouse.
“It will definitely affect us, but in the long term, it might be good for the town,” he said.
Maryborough MP Chris Foley said he was opposed to bypassing small towns and predicted businesses would suffer.
Mr Wallace predicted by 2030, bypasses would reduce heavy vehicle traffic through Gympie by 584,000 vehicles and through Tiaro by 657,000.
“A total reduction of approximately 3.5 million trips a year will be achieved for all the centres over the 20 years of the plan,” he said.
Mr Wallace said bypasses worked best when the local community called for them, not when roads authorities decided they needed them.
“These bypasses will depend on traffic demand and when communities decide they no longer want trucks moving through town centres,” he said. “Extensive consultations will occur with communities.”