RACQ Calls for Car Access in Proposed West End to Toowong Bridge

Whilst RACQ welcomed Lord Mayor Schrinner’s plan to build five additional green bridges across Brisbane, the State’s peak motoring body stressed disappointment over the proposed West End to Toowong bridge.

After being officially appointed as Brisbane’s new lord mayor last 8 April 2019, Chandler ward councillor Adrian Schrinner announced that he plans to build additional green bridges across Brisbane  to help reduce traffic congestion and enhance cross-river connectivity:

  • Kangaroo Point Green Bridge – a pedestrian/cycle bridge for which the Council is currently undertaking a business case.
  • Toowong to West End Green Bridge – a potential pedestrian/cycle/public transport bridge.
  • St Lucia to West End Green Bridge – a potential pedestrian/cycle/public transport bridge.
  • Breakfast Creek Green Bridge – a pedestrian/cycle bridge connecting Kingsford Smith Drive Riverwalk into the existing Riverwalk network.
  • Bellbowrie Green Bridge – a potential pedestrian/cycle/public transport bridge, with emergency access.

The said program is going to cost at least $500 million, of which the Council will shoulder at least two-thirds whilst the rest of the funding contributions will be sought from the State and Federal governments.

The proposal reflects the residents’ sentiment as shown in the 2017 Bridging Brisbane campaign, RACQ spokesperson Paul Turner said.

Photo Credit: RACQ 2019 / racq.com.au

The survey was conducted from 28 April – 30 June 2017, and the results revealed that an overwhelming number of respondents support 10 out of 12 proposed new or upgraded river crossings.

A welcome news but…

Whilst the Club applauds the Brisbane City Council “for stepping up to create new green bridges across the city,” the exclusion of traffic lanes for cars in the proposed West End to Toowong bridge, to them, was disappointing.

“We know that western corridor has some of the slowest traffic times in Brisbane and we’d call on Council to help alleviate that pressure,” RACQ spokesperson Paul Turner said.

“West End faces the prospect of becoming a car park with the closure of Victoria Bridge to drivers and the lack of vehicular access across the river to the west.

“Not only do we need investment in public transport and active transport infrastructure but we need to ensure Brisbane motorists have access to free alternative routes that minimise delays by car.

Video Credit: RACQOfficial / YouTube

“We would like also to see Council consider duplicating the Walter Taylor Bridge at Indooroopilly to mitigate the bottlenecks we see created every morning and evening there during peak hour.”

The Club also hopes that the Council will be able to secure additional funding from the State and/or Federal government.

“We know attempts to attract funding and planning cooperation across all levels of government has proven problematic in the past, and we hope all three tiers see the sense in working together to ensure Brisbane doesn’t grind to halt – whether its residents are on foot, on a bike, on public transport or behind the wheel.”

Brisbane’s New Lord Mayor Announces New Green Bridges for West End

Brisbane’s new Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has promised five new green bridges across the city and two of them will be in West End.

One of the proposed connections would be from West End to St Lucia whilst the other one will be connecting the suburb to Toowong.

There are possibilities that the bridges will be like the Eleanor Schonell Bridge, the first bridge in Australia exclusively designed for buses, cyclists and pedestrians.

Cr Schrinner shared a picture of the Eleanor Schonell bridge on his Twitter account, along with an announcement that his team is committed to building new green bridges in the Brisbane River to “ensure the city is cleaner, greener, and more active.”

The new green bridges, which could cost more than half a billion dollars, are expected to be delivered within five to 10 years.

Cr Schrinner, who wants to focus on green spaces and liveability, added that the three other proposed connections would be in Kangaroo Point, Breakfast Creek and Bellbowrie.

West End to Toowong

Cr Schrinner said they are looking at options regarding the best location of the bridge and among the considered locations is the former ABC site in Toowong.

He revealed that they are considering purchasing the now privately owned former ABC site for the West End to Toowong bridge.

“There are a number of locations where a bridge can be built between West End and Toowong, we want to get the right location,” he said.

Earlier this month, State Greens MP for Maiwar Michael Berkman and Councillor for The Gabba Jonathan Sri launched a community survey in Toowong and found that majority of the residents surveyed support a new footbridge for pedestrians and cyclists connecting the suburb to West End.

Mr Berkman said the former ABC site could be an idyllic riverfront park and a perfect landing point for a walking and cycling bridge connecting West End and Toowong.

Apart from further discussions with residents, Mr Berkman said they will be consulting engineering, planning and design experts for the exact location and design of the footbridge.

West End to St Lucia

In 2017, the University of Queensland already proposed a master plan for their St Lucia campus, calling for a new pedestrian bridge linking the campus to West End.

The university backed down from their plans after Brisbane City Council said it had no intentions of funding construction of the bridge, which UQ said it would not be offering to build itself.

As of 2017, there were 99,000 commuter trips to the university each day and 63 percent of them made by public transport or bike.

Cr Schrinner said this just shows the demand for a new bridge going to the University of Queensland.