23 May 2008
The Central Business District Bicycle User Group has responded to this week’s announcement by the Premier of BrisConnections as the winning consortium to build the $4.8 billion Airport Link, the next section of the Northern Busway and a new airport roundabout fly-over, by calling for the winning bidder to avoid furthering the disasters of the North South Bypass Tunnel (NSBT) and the Northern Busway by immediately consulting with local cycling groups.
The Airport Link will be Australia’s largest road infrastructure project and is expected to be completed by 2012. However, according to the CBD BUG’s spokesperson, Mr Paul French, if the lack of attention to cyclist needs by builders of the NSBT and the Northern Busway is repeated by BrisConnections, cycling on Brisbane’s north side will be wiped out.
Mr French said that “alternate bikeway routes bypassing construction sites, where provided, have been little more than after-thoughts for project managers. Not surprisingly, cyclist numbers have plummeted while their regular routes have been closed”.
“On top of the many months of bikeway closures the situation has been worsened by the deficiencies in the permanent replacement bikeways, which feature more indirect routes than the old bikeways as well as being designed with obstructions to slow cyclists down. Quite frankly, the political promises to expand cycling are not being matched by actions on the ground” Mr French said.
The Airport Link is part of the Council's TransApex Plan and the Queensland Government's South East Queensland Infrastructure Plan, and comes with promises of enhanced livability on the northern suburbs due to the freed-up surface road space becoming available for improved public transport and pedestrian and cycling links.
Mr French stated that “in view of these promises from the Government the CBD BUG calls on the Premier and Lord Mayor to work together to build a world class cycle commuter network, especially in the Airport Link corridor. North side cycling links into the city are already inadequate, and will be completely severed during the construction of the NSBT, Northern Busway and now the Airport Link without adequate provision for cyclists.
Media contact: Paul French, contact 0423 974 825