Media Release: Grace Grace MP

Safety for Queensland cyclists is a major priority for the State Government, State Member for Brisbane Central Grace Grace MP said today.

In response to today’s Bicycle User Groups (BUGs) protest, Ms Grace said State Government has listened and taken in cyclists’ concerns.

“We understand concerns about the closure of bicycle paths during construction periods of major infrastructure projects, in particular the Northern Busway,” Ms Grace said.

“State Government strives to reduce disruption and inconvenience during construction for all transport users, including cyclists.

“Safety of our road users, however, is our primary concern and sometimes closures are unavoidable along with the provision of suitable alternative routes.”

Ms Grace said in the case of the Northern Busway works, traffic volumes, existing infrastructure and the nature of the site created difficulties in providing suitable alternative routes for cyclists.

“The Northern Busway Alliance (NBA), who is responsible for the project’s construction, has been in regular contact with BUG during the planning process,” she said.

“NBA advised they produce weekly update notices, which are circulated around to cycling interest groups.

“These notices include any likely road closures and major works for the next week, month and three months.”

Ms Grace said the last meeting held between NBA and cycle groups was on 30 April 2008.

“At the meeting BUGs and Bicycle Queensland proposed a way around the closures by linking up with the existing North South Bus Tunnel detour between Campbell Street and O’Connell Terrace, through Bowen Park,” she said.

“It is understood this suggestion will be evaluated in consultation with the Brisbane City Council.”

Ms Grace said the Queensland Government was committed to making it safer for cyclists to travel around Brisbane.

“The Queensland Government has allocated $235 million under the South East Queensland Infrastructure Plan and Program 2007-2026 to be distributed over 20 years to develop a regional cycle network in south east Queensland,” she said.

“The program provides funding to deliver a range of cycling facilities including on-road and off-road cycle pathways, bridges and underpasses, end of trip facilities, directional and route signage, data counters and improved lighting.

“In 2007-08, Queensland Transport committed more than $13.1 million in capital grants for 61 cycle infrastructure projects across south east Queensland to be delivered in partnership with local governments,” she said.

“A recently finished project is the $17.1 million Normanby Pedestrian and Cycle Link in Roma Street Parklands delivered in September last year.

“Yesterday the Premier I went on a tour of Brisbane’s new King George Square cycle centre which is to open on June 2. “The $7 million centre is the first of its kind in Australia and will provide parking for 420 bicycles, as well as showers, lockers and changing rooms for busy commuters.

“Another project expected to be finished by the end of the year is the cyclist and pedestrian overpass on the Western Freeway.”

Media contact: Grace Grace on 3832 1322

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