Ipswich to Brisbane fast rail planned to 'prevent gridlock'

FAST rail connecting Ipswich to Brisbane is part of a suite of massive infrastructure projects proposed to prevent commuter gridlock.

A comprehensive list of projects required to keep the region moving has been unveiled for the first time by the Southeast Queensland Council of Mayors.

The 47 road, rail and tunnel projects worth $64billion must be planned now to maintain the liveability of southeast centres, the Council says.

Council of Mayors chairman Graham Quirk said the clear message from the study was that a "business as usual" approach would not keep pace with population growth.

 

The Southeast Queensland Council of Mayors unveils the Mass Transport Study.
FUTURE: The Southeast Queensland Council of Mayors unveils the Mass Transport Study, which includes priority projects across Ipswich. Contributed

"Our research shows that even if every committed and planned project in this region is delivered, the majority of SEQ's major road corridors will be over capacity by 2031," he said.

"By 2041, the region will be in gridlock."

Administrator Greg Chemello helped launch the study, which prioritises eight projects in Ipswich.

The Council of Mayors' priorities for Ipswich includes a range of rail and road construction and upgrades.

A faster rail network linking Ipswich Central to Brisbane would cut travel times in both directions by 66 per cent.

At a cost of $1.7billion, trains on the link would have a maximum operating speed up to 250km/h.

"An SEQ faster rail network will slash commute times from the Sunshine Coast to 45 minutes, from the Gold Coast to 35 minutes and from Ipswich to just 20 minutes," Cr Quirk said.

"This will take immense pressure of the Bruce and Pacific highways."

An extension to the rail line from Springfield to Ripley is also proposed, at a cost of $500million.

A further $700million should be spent constructing the rail link between Ripley and Ipswich, via Yamanto, the Council of Mayors said.

The Council declared a four-lane upgrade on the Centenary Motorway between Logan Motorway and Yamanto was vital to fixing the peak-hour bottleneck.

A six-lane Warrego Highway upgrade between Ipswich and Toowoomba and connecting it with an upgraded Cunningham Highway would also improve connectivity.

Ipswich's long-awaited Norman Street Bridge project is also listed as a $250million necessity.

"A significant shift in thinking is required in SEQ from all levels government to ensure we don't end up with traffic like Sydney and Melbourne," Cr Quirk said.