Public and active transport winners in BCC budget: RACQ

RACQ has welcomed a commitment by Brisbane City Council (BCC) to increase spending on congestion busting projects including green bridges and cycleways

In BCC’s budget, which was handed down today, transport expenditure increased to $1.7 billion, up from $1.6 billion in 2019-20.

RACQ Head of Public Policy Rebecca Michael said public and active transport users would be the big winners, with $123 million allocated to active transport projects in 2020-21, up from $83 million in 2019-20.

“In light of the current economic climate and the reduction in revenue, we’re happy to see the increase in spending on transport and roads infrastructure, and commend BCC’s focus on active transport,” Dr Michael said.

“We welcome the $40 million allocation to major bikeway projects and a further $23 million for progressing the green bridge program, as we’ve seen significant growth in demand for active transport options since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re also pleased council is planning on buying 60 new buses - including 10 high-capacity articulated buses and four electric buses for a trial on the city loop.

“As workers transition back to the office post COVID-19, it’s critical we invest in the active and public transport network to provide alternative travel options to prevent commuters jumping in their cars and creating more congestion.”

Dr Michael said BCC had also significantly increased spending on road maintenance and improvement, with the road network resurfacing budget at $90 million, up from $72.2 million for 2019-20.

“The focus on road maintenance and resurfacing will aid the economic recovery through job creation, while also improving the safety and efficiency of the network,” she said.

“We’re also pleased to see a temporary freeze in car parking fees for the remainder of 2020, as this will help limit cost of living pressures on motorists using BCC meters while supporting businesses in our urban centre.”