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05 October 2010

It's official: Ipswich Motorway quicker in mornings


QT.com.au


A MORNING peak hour drive into Brisbane down the Ipswich Motorway is faster than it was three years ago, but driving back through Goodna in the afternoon is slower, according to a new RACQ report.

Quick, quick, slow

How our motorway is speeding up AND slowing down

ZANE JACKSON
zanejackson@qt.com.au

COMMUTERS leaving Ipswich for Brisbane in the morning peak-hour period experience faster trips on the Ipswich Motorway compared with three years ago.

But the return trip to Ipswich in the afternoon is a different prospect, with some stretches of the motorway at Goodna crawling at an average of just 25kmh.

The figures come from the recently released RACQ 2010 Travel Time Survey, which surveyed 17 major roads into Brisbane in May and June.

RACQ senior traffic and safety engineer Greg Miszkowycz, who helped compile the report, said roadworks could have been a factor in the afternoon slow-down around Goodna.

But he said motorists would be pleased with the improvements from Dinmore to Progress Road at Wacol, with the majority of that stretch done at just below 80kmh, with 50kmh the lowest speed.

In 2007, when the survey was last completed, the same stretch reached a maximum of only 70kmh with the majority of the trip stuck about the 40kmh mark.

"Average vehicle speeds have improved quite a bit through the area, even with the roadworks," Mr Miszkowcyz said.

"It's a good run for 12km, but just as you approach the Centenary Highway it starts to congest around that area, all the way to Rocklea."

He said the slow Goodna stretch, where the three kilometres between Woogaroo Creek and Goodna Creek crawls at an average of 26kmh, would improve once the $1.95 billion Dinmore to Goodna motorway
upgrade is completed.

Ipswich City Councillor Paul Tully said he was surprised at the increased speeds leaving Ipswich because of the roadworks, but expected a faster and safe run once the upgrade was complete by the end of 2011.

"It's quite an unexpected statistic, but it's good news for those motorists," Cr Tully said.

Ipswich Chamber of Commerce and Industry executive director Roger Taufel said a fast connection with Brisbane was important for some businesses.

"Anything that will improve transport time will obviously make it easier for businesses to operate," Mr Taufel said.

Mr Miszkowcyz said the Department of Transport and Main Roads was working on a business plan for a potential Darra to Rocklea motorway upgrade to submit for government funding.

According to the department's website for the project, crews are undertaking geotechnical investigations to help engineers understand soil. rock and underground conditions from mid October to late November 2010.

The results from this work will assist the planning team to develop a business case which will detail the project's costs, benefits and staging options.

The peak times used for the survey were from 7am to 9am in the morning and from 4pm to 6pm in the afternoon.

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