Congestion at record high in Brisbane

RACQ has revealed traffic congestion in Brisbane had soared, peaking at levels not seen in years, indicating residents continued to favour cars over public transport for their commute amid COVID-19.

Club spokesperson Lauren Ritchie said traffic data showed delays during the morning and afternoon rush, since school returned, were higher than average congestion in 2019 and 2020.

“Last week we saw congestion in the morning peak at 90 percent, according to Tom Tom traffic index, indicating travel time on a regular free-flowing commute was almost double,” Ms Ritchie said.

“Average congestion back in 2019, pre-COVID-19, was peaking around 49 percent. Concerningly we also saw as many as 423 traffic jams in Brisbane last week during peak hours.

“This data proves what many of us have been thinking, traffic in Brisbane is getting worse.”

Ms Ritchie said while wet weather, crashes and visibility played a role in last Tuesday’s traffic, a prolonged downturn in public transport usage was adding to the problem.

“Rain led to more vehicles on the road network last week with many deterred from walking or riding into work and crashes, flash flooding and breakdowns worsened the situation,” she said.

“But traffic levels are still frustrating even when we don’t have these weather issues. In January congestion levels were at 71 percent on a perfectly clear day, proving cars are still the preferred method of travel for locals.”

Ms Ritchie said it was time governments improved service reliability, convenience and accessibility.

“Queenslanders tell us a lack of services, poor connectivity and slow journey times are the major issues with the current network and they’re not willing to go back to catching the train, tram, bus or ferry due to concerns about their health and safety and social distancing, and because they don’t need to travel as regularly,” she said.

“Public transport usage was still down by about 30 percent in November, reinforcing the need to not only improve our roads, but provide a safe, frequent, reliable and affordable public transport to restore commuter confidence and encourage those to get out of the car.”

Queenslanders could have their say on congestion at www.racq.com/redspot.