World Class Busway, A World Away For Logan

busway

By Matilda Butler

Logan commuters have to wait, squashed in traffic day after day for fifteen years until they have the privilege of being connected to Brisbane City via the successful South East Busway.

According to Queensland Transport, in 2001, plans for an extension of the South East Bus way, connecting Brisbane to Logan were made.

The proposed completion date for the bus way, running along the Pacific Highway, is 2026 – twenty-five years since the initial proposal.

Plans for the extension have been split into two parts; the connection from Eight Mile Plains to Rochedale and the connection from Rochedale to Springwood.

The first half of the extension is due to be completed late 2014.

The second half, which connects Brisbane to Logan, has not yet received funding.

Former Springwood Councillor and member of the Liberal Party, Peter Collins, said, “This project was first mooted in 2001. Since then, they’ve blamed the Federal government for lack of funding, but at the end of the day, they’re not really committed to looking after Logan.

“Take for example the Pacific Highway. Once you hit Logan, you lose the beautiful, wide three-lane road and you get a squashed three-lane road. As soon as you leave Logan, you’re back to the new road.

“It’s a nice idea, but we’ll just see if anything actually happens.”

The Labor MP for Logan City, John Mickel, believes that the public transport system in Brisbane has made the city world-class.

“The greatest revolution that has happened in places like Springwood and Logan City, is the advent of public transport,” he said.

“The busway accompanied by a massive uptake in technology has meant that bus travel now is quite seamless for thousands of people.

“It will be a great thing when we can extend it further down into the Eastern parts of Logan City. As funding becomes available, those things will happen.

“Now, all these big infrastructure programs have taken somewhat of a hit because of the reconstruction caused by the floods. That has caused a significant review of some of the programs.”

John Grant, Liberal MP candidate for Springwood believes that the Labor Government is punishing Springwood with a lack of funding.

They lost office for a short time over the protest that locals put up against their plan to build a highway through the koala habitat to the east of the current M1 motorway,” he said.

“Since then the current government has been running deficit annual budgets and developing a very large debt.”

The concept of a seamless transport system, as Mickel describes it, is not one shared by people who travel from Logan to the city daily for work.

Kathleen Jenner travels to the city from the Logan area for work five days a week.

“I get on the bus at the Hyperdome. That takes me out to the Pacific Highway. To reach Eight Mile Plains, where the busway actually starts, it takes half an hour,” said Miss Jenner.

“The traffic truly is dreadful.”

Since the establishment of the South East Busway, Brisbane and suburbs on its outskirts have experienced a boom in the number of commuters travelling to the city each day.

Michael Arnold from Arnold Development Consultants sees the extension of the busway as beneficial for Logan residents.

“This busway is renowned, any extension is to be welcomed,” he said.

“I attend national town planning conferences and even there we hear that Brisbane’s transport is amongst the best in the world,

“The more people using transport, the better it is for the environment, for traffic congestion and it’s easier for people who work in the city, or simply want to get there.

“It’s a shame about the wait though.”