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11 Aug 2022: BCC NWTN business case study, a farce that ignores its own findings

Started by ozbob, August 11, 2022, 03:40:07 AM

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ozbob

BCC NWTN business case study, a farce that ignores its own findings!

11th August 2022

Brisbane City Council have released the findings of their NWTN (North west transport network) business case study (1,2).

In what is a surprise to nobody, BCC have concluded that a 6 lane motorway tunnel is their preferred solution despite this being completely opposite to the community preference for rail in the consultation process.

Robert Dow said:

"The quick explanation is the BCC did a consultation which found 57% wanted public transport and 26% wanted roads, with the strongest support for rail, all reinforced by detailed feedback.

What we've got instead is $9.5b proposed for a 6 lane tunnel by 2031, a token $1.3b for a Gympie Road busway, with the rail component pushed out to 2041.

Its a farce of the highest order that public transport is such a strong community priority but only gets 12% of the dollars before the Olympics under their proposal."

At an estimated cost of $9.5b, it would be the most expensive transport project in SEQ by a great margin, eclipsing Cross River Rail ($5.4b) , AirportLink ($4.8b) and approaching the cost of the entire Bruce Highway Upgrade ($13b).

By it's own admission, BCC states:

"Poor access, comfort and connectivity of public and active transport within, and through, north-west Brisbane creates an unsustainable and excessive reliance on private vehicles."

"High-capacity public transport in Brisbane's north-west is limited to the North Coast Line and Ferny Grove rail line and small sections of busway, resulting in a reliance on bus services running in general traffic."

So it's clear that  public transport is lacking, and would be a key cause of the traffic issues the area faces.

But here's where it gets absurd:

"The recommended sequencing for Program 4a and Program 4b includes the delivery of BRT and a North West Motorway as a single project by 2031."

"The NWTN program business case identified North West Rail for delivery post-2031 but within the program's planning horizon of 2041"

In other words, BCC want a motorway within the next decade, but are happy to push rail out to the never never to 2041 as a low priority!

This is reinforced by the proposed detailed business case (DBC) only proposing to investigate:

- North West Motorway
- BRT
- North West Active Transport Route
- Biodiversity Corridor

It didn't take long for rail has completely drop off the at this point!

BCC falsely claim that the motorway is needed to complete the busway to Bracken Ridge.
This is false. If they want to build a busway, then just build a 2 lane busway tunnel.
This is cheaper than the backwards approach of building a 6 lane motorway tunnel to 'free up' space.

Logic would dictate that the community preference for rail improvements and the coming 2032 Olympics would mean having rail in place first? Furthermore, prioritising rail allows for a change in travel behaviour, potentially avoiding the expense of even having to build the motorway tunnel.

BCC's own consultation found that locals want (3):

57% improvements to public transport
26% improvements to roads
11% bike infrastructure
3%  parking
2%  pedestrian infrastructure

This was reinforced by 'quick poll' conducted during the consultation, with only 13% supporting new roads.

Later it said "public transport options are generally prioritised over road infrastructure options, however some stakeholders stated a need for both"

Other specific key quotes from the community consultation said:

"Rail was the most supported option and there was a good overall understanding of the regional, inter-regional and local transport benefits to be derived from rail."

"A new rail line through the NWTC (North west transport corridor) was the most supported idea in the online survey. There was expectation that a new rail line will be locally accessible and well connected with other public transport networks."

"When asked what modes of transport should be included in the corridor, the most supported modes were rail and shared active transport, followed by buses, roads, and separated active transport (e.g. dedicated bikeways)."

On the contrary, when it came to roads:

"The roads option had the lowest level of support but was still supported to an extent."

"Across all data collection methods, the road ideas presented were the least preferred."

"Council received 541 pieces of feedback for the five road ideas (see Table 4). Feedback provided indicated that the community broadly does not see new roads as the solution to the transport problems in the north-west and that a move to public transport is preferred."

In conclusion, despite a landslide level of support for public transport over roads, a $9.5b tunnel has snuck into the final proposal by BCC and trumped everything else.

Residents can therefore have no confidence that their preference for rail and public transport is being translated into council treating this as a #1 priority.

If people ever wonder why we lag on public transport and climate action, it is because of this exact kind of behaviour by authorities.

RAIL Back on track would support a hybrid solution for the NWTC.

This would include:

- Above ground rail on low impact sections
- Underground rail in environmentally sensitive sections, including a 3km tunnel under Chermside Hill Reserve
- A walking / cycling path the full length of the corridor.

5 Key benefits of Rail on the NWTC

- Would provide rail access to an area of Brisbane that are a long way from any rail line or busway, saving time and improving quality of life.

- Would provide a double benefit to the Sunshine Coast / Moreton Bay, since it gives a new fast straight direct route for trains into Brisbane (With provision of express tracks during construction)

- Would allow currently long bus journeys in the North West to become much shorter, by feeding into new rail stations.

- Helps reduce emissions, compared to new roads, which will increase emissions

-Allows residents to escape congestion, since the entire transport network is roads based, and both cars and buses get caught in congestion.

It is worth noting the completion of Northern Busway along Gympie Road is proposed as part of NWTN Study, and this is a worthy project, but would address a different set of (more local) needs than what rail on the NWTC would achieve. The two projects serve different catchment areas.

Robert Dow
Administration
admin@backontrack.org
RAIL Back On Track https://backontrack.org

References:

1. https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/traffic-and-transport/roads-infrastructure-and-bikeways/bridges-tunnels-culverts-and-transport-links/north-west-transport-network

2. https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2022-08/20220809-north-west-transport-network-making-it-happen.pdf

3. https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2022-08/20220809-north-west-tranport-network-community-consultation-report-stage2.pdf

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BCC NWTN business case study, a farce that ignores its own findings! 11th August 2022 Brisbane City Council have...

Posted by RAIL - Back On Track on Wednesday, 10 August 2022
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ozbob

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AJ Transport

Really strong press release with good use of the council's own information contradicting their appalling recommendations.

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