Media release: Green bridges needed to rescue Brisbane’s economy and lifestyle

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18 March 2011

Green bridges needed to rescue Brisbane’s economy and lifestyle say cyclists

The Queensland Government must immediately start building the additional green bridges for cyclists and pedestrians recommended by a government appointed expert panel back in 2007 according to the Brisbane Central Business District Bicycle User Group (CBD BUG).

The call for new green bridges comes on the back of rapidly rising petrol prices, which have recently hit $1.50 per litre and are likely to continue increasing during 2011. The Queensland Government’s Queensland Oil Vulnerability Taskforce found that Peak Oil is expected around 2013, and because of the high levels of car dependence in Brisbane there will be a massive impact on household budgets and businesses unless residents have transport alternatives.

CBD BUG spokesman Paul French said “the Brisbane River has a special place in the hearts of the River City’s residents, but it is also a major barrier to people wanting to go about their everyday business. From an economic perspective one of the best approaches to spanning the river would be more green bridges. These can have cost-benefit ratios of more than three times those of infrastructure for cars, which over the longer term will be lucky to achieve break even.”

The Smart State Council provided its Smart Cities: rethinking the city centre report to the Beattie Government in 2007 and recommended that additional cyclist and pedestrian bridges be built spanning the river between Edward Street and Kangaroo Point, Kangaroo Point to New Farm and Teneriffe to Bulimba/Hawthorne. A new Toowong to West End green bridge has also been foreshadowed in the Queensland Government’s draft long term transport plan – Connecting SEQ 2031.

“For the economic benefits of additional green bridges you need to look no further than the success of the $33 million Goodwill Bridge. With 10,000 cyclists and pedestrians using it every day these structures easily pay for themselves in just a few years” commented Mr French.

He went on to say that “the Queensland Government needs to stop conducting further studies and get on with getting Brisbane moving again. The government may say they can’t afford another bridge at this time, but Brisbane can’t afford the even greater cost of not building these bridges. Apart from the hundreds of jobs created during their construction, more green bridges will immediately relieve pressure on this city’s over-stretched road and public transport system and continue to generate economic and social benefits for generations to come.”

Ends

Media contact: Paul French
0423 974 825
convenors@cbdbug.org.au

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