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    JOINT STATEMENT
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh
    Minister for Transport
    The Honourable Rachel Nolan

    Northern Busway next link in busway chain

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Minister for Transport
    The Honourable Rachel Nolan

    Thursday, July 23, 2009

    Northern Busway next link in busway chain

    Traffic jams are becoming a thing of the past for tens of thousands of public transport users with the finishing touches being put to the next vital chain in Brisbane’s busway network.

    Ms Bligh inspected the $198 million stage one of the Northern Busway at a special sneak preview today.

    The Premier said the new 1.2 km section, finished two months ahead of schedule and on budget, was a vital link in a chain which will drastically reduce bus travel times between the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) precinct and the city.

    “Stage one of the Northern Busway combined with the Inner Northern Busway means peak hour travel times between the RBWH and the city have been reduced from up to 25 minutes to under ten minutes,” Ms Bligh said.

    “The new section alone cuts out four sets of lights and can save up to five minutes in peak traffic conditions and provides a vital link to the next section of the busway to Kedron which is now being built in tandem with the $4.8 billion Airport Link project.

    “This section of the Northern busway will remove more than 5000 buses a week from traffic and carry more than 32,000 passengers a day who might otherwise be driving cars.

    “That will immediately take pressure off the junction of Herston Road with Bowen Bridge Road and will make the journey to the hospital easier for patients and health workers using public transport and for motorists alike.

    “We want as many people as possible to switch to public transport. For that to happen we know we need to provide a world class service.

    “We’ve already seen patronage grow by almost 50 per cent in the past five years across southeast Queensland as the busway network has grown and taken shape and our record $18.2 billion capital building program means it will only continue to improve.”

    The first stage of the northern busway consists of an elevated structure connecting at an intersection with Gilchrist Avenue with a new busway station at the RWBH.

    A new $8 million cycle centre under the RBWH busway station is due to be opened in October 2009.

    Ms Bligh said the first stage of the Northern Busway and the $366 million Boggo Road/Eastern Busway would both open for operation on August 3.

    “There are just a few finishing touches to be made before we see more than half a billion dollars of new infrastructure added to the busway network in just over a week’s time,” she said.

    “From day one the new busways will be used by more than 7000 bus services a week on 21 routes.

    “Passengers will be able to travel from University of Queensland at St Lucia to Buranda, then link up with the South Eastern Busway in to the city and then out to the RBWH at Windsor.

    “And that means for tens of thousands of regular public transport users traffic jams will become an unpleasant memory.”

    Transport Minister Rachel Nolan said the first stage of the Northern busway and the new busway station would greatly improve public transport access to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

    “Earlier this month we confirmed $4.2 million worth of services in the Brisbane region ahead of the busway openings so that even more passengers can benefit from the new busways,” Ms Nolan said.

    “Thousands of people work at and visit the health precinct each day and by 2016, more than 13,000 people per day are expected to be getting on or off at the new RBWH busway station.”

    Ms Nolan said she would have the honor of officially launching the busway station at a community open day to be held at the new Northern Busway this Sunday 26 July 2009 from 10am to 2pm.

    “This project has been taking shape before our eyes for some time and, before the buses start using it on August 3, I’d like to welcome the community to come and have a look at what is a pretty spectacular piece of infrastructure,” Ms Nolan said.

    “People should really consider catching free public transport on TransLink services this Sunday to take a walk through the new Northern Busway and see first hand what this great project is all about.

    “The community open day will give the public, the project team and all the wonderful people who work in the health precinct a chance to see how their cooperation has helped to improve access to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and reduce trip times across Brisbane’s north side.”

    The Minister said the new $8 million cycle centre currently being constructed underneath the RBWH busway station will be opened in October 2009.

    “The new RBWH Cycle Centre will provide cyclists, pedestrians and joggers with access to a state-of-the-art end-of trip facility which features 750 bike storage spaces, showers, lockers and security,” Ms Nolan said.

    The next stage of the busway, from Windsor to Kedron, is now under construction in conjunction with Airport Link and is expected to be complete by 2012.

    To travel free to the Northern Busway Open Day this Sunday 26 July 2009, cut out the coupon in The Sunday Mail or download a copy from the TransLink websitewww.translink.com.au.

    Contact 07 32244500