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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Transport/Main Roads
    The Honourable Stephen Bredhauer

    State Government puts strategy in place on Houghton Highway

    Transport/Main Roads
    The Honourable Stephen Bredhauer

    Wednesday, October 15, 2003

    State Government puts strategy in place on Houghton Highway

    The Beattie Government has implemented a strategy to ensure the Houghton Highway's tidal flow lane system is not blocked or closed for lengthy periods.

    Transport and Main Roads Minister Steve Bredhauer said the ten-hour closure of one lane on Wednesday (8 October 2003) was not acceptable for the major entry to the City of Redcliffe.

    Mr Bredhauer asked Main Roads to take urgent action after Wednesday's incident when a council contractor cut both the main power line and its back-up, disabling the tidal flow traffic control system.

    At a meeting with the Minister on Thursday, local MPs Ray Hollis and Dean Wells sought changes to the bridge's traffic management processes and public transport improvements.

    "The safety and amenity of the people of Redcliffe is my paramount concern and this will be the focus in operating the Houghton Highway," Mr Bredhauer said.

    Mr Bredhauer said the strategy to be implemented had three key aims to prevent further disruption to the Redcliffe community - prevention, quicker solutions to problems, and improved warning systems.

    Prevention * Equipment that is vulnerable or has proved unreliable, will be protected, upgraded or replaced * Works undertaken on or near the bridge must be approved by Main Roads * Infrastructure vital to the proper operation of the bridge system may be duplicated, better protected and better identified; including better securing the power route * The current 60km/h speed limit trial will continue to test if a lower operating speed will reduce accidents on the bridge

    Quicker solutions * A wider range of spare parts and resources, more easily able to be replaced, will be held locally to ensure prompt replacement * The provision of help facilities to ensure prompt clearance of breakdowns and incidents during the peak periods will be investigated * Improving response times for operating the system manually when the tidal flow system cannot be promptly repaired

    Improved warning * The traveller information system will be upgraded to prevent extended delays * Advanced signage, including variable message signs, and advice to public transport and other stakeholders will inform people of the closure and the delays in advance so alternate routes can be taken and travel plans can be adjusted * Contingency planning to direct traffic before it is trapped in queues will be implemented.

    Mr Bredhauer said it was clear that two inbound or outbound traffic lanes were sufficient to cater for the peak traffic flows to and from Redcliffe.

    "The performance of the Houghton Highway is adequate when the tidal flow lane control system is working and there are no blockages on the bridge," he said.

    Mr Bredhauer said the State Government also recognised the importance of improving public transport to manage traffic impacts on the Redcliffe peninsula.

    "Investigations, which Cabinet committed to recently, will be accelerated to demonstrate our commitment to improving public transport in the Redcliffe region," Mr Bredhauer said.

    MEDIA CONTACT: Louise Foley, 3235 4826 or 0407 966 829