BYPASSING COMMON SENSE
Kingston bypass: $42 million to save five minutes
Members of Future Transport Tasmania (FTT) were present yesterday at the inaugural meeting of the Sustainable Transport Advocacy Coalition in Tasmania (STACTAS) to discuss the Kingston bypass about to be approved by the Kingborough Council (KC). The bypass is primarily designed to remove the congestion currently experienced in morning and evening peak hour traffic at the roundabout at Channel Highway and Summerleas Road. FTT is confidently predicting that not too long after the bypass is completed, new traffic bottlenecks will be created, and people will be wondering just why the bypass has failed. The KC has not yet completed developing the Kingborough Integrated Transport Strategy (KITS), yet the KC is prepared to approve a project which has not been weighed up against the options, because the options have not been presented or examined.
FTT noted that as the KC has not yet completed its transport study, it seems absurd that $42 million is being spent before alternative options are studied
FTT believes that a properly implemented park-and-ride scheme would have much greater long-term benefits. Such a service, involving free car parking and high frequency bus services during peak travel hours, would need to be well promoted and advertised, but the potential savings for commuters have not been adequately explored or investigated.
Future Transport Tasmania spokesperson Ben Peelman said: “This is a totally unsustainable development, that in the long term will have little noticeable effect on traffic levels. We are talking about spending $42 million to save what is usually a five or ten minute delay. Furthermore, it will only decrease congestion for those travelling from the city into Kingston. Traffic congestion at the Hobart end of the Southern Outlet is in fact more likely to increase. “
“In February Professor Jan Gehl gave a public lecture at the University Of Tasmania, where he said that experience had shown that the more roads you build, the more cars you get. The same will soon prove to be true here. At the same time, we know that of the three main arterial routes into the city, it is the Brooker Highway that is in fact the most congested, not Kingston. So it is strange that Kingston gets a bypass, but nothing has been done or even suggested for the Northern suburbs or the Eastern shore. Nor does the bypass help the young or the elderly residents of Kingborough, who will see little benefit from the new road.”
“The world is now in the grips of climate change and peak oil, whether we like to admit it or not. Building more roads will not make either of them any easier to deal with. The solutions are to create alternative transport options to ensure we are not reliant solely on our cars to get from place to place. At the moment those options are totally insufficient, and addressing that is where we believe government money should be directed,” finished Mr Peelman.