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Ipswich's boom suburbs won't see rail for at least six years

IPSWICH commuters will have to wait at least another six years before work starts on the local network's long-awaited rail extensions.

The extension to the Ipswich rail network, including connecting Ipswich to Springfield and Redbank Plains, has been repeatedly promised by the Labor State Government.

Now, it has confirmed work will not start until after 2024, with the Government claiming "the extension(s) rely on the completion of Cross River Rail".

That has been vehemently disputed by Ipswich Rail Advocate Robert Dow, who says work on the extensions should start immediately before the lack of transport infrastructure hits crisis point.

The Palaszczuk Government said this month it remained committed to the extension of the Springfield line and had set aside land for a future passenger rail.

But the Department of Main Roads did not say when the works would start and gave no budget details or an explanation as to why these extensions related to the city-centric Cross River Rail project.

Cross River Rail is a Brisbane CBD rail project that includes a 10.2km rail line between Dutton Park and Bowen Hills with a twin tunnel under the Brisbane River.

The inner-city transport project is due to be finished in 2024.

A spokesperson for the Palaszczuk Government said Cross River Rail would "provide the necessary capacity to expand the rail network, it is the key to unclog the bottleneck on our rail network and deliver additional services".

According to a statement issued last year by Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, Cross River Rail will deliver new links to Flagstone and Ripley.

Rail Back on Track advocate Robert Dow said the Ipswich extensions could, and should, go ahead independent of Cross River Rail.

"The lines can simply be extended out to Redbank Plains and Ripley," Mr Dow said.

"The roads are failing badly and there is a massive amount of development happening along that corridor. We need to get more people on to public transport and off the roads. The only way to do that is have public transport.

"Redbank Plains is one of the fastest growing residential areas in this country. This is just nonsense.

"We have consistently been far too late in matching our infrastructure needs to actual growth."

What Main Roads said

"The Ipswich to Springfield Future Public Passenger Transport Corridor has been preserved since 2009 following extensive community consultation.

The corridor is also identified as a future rail corridor in strategic documents such as SEQ Rail Horizon and Shaping SEQ.

Transport and Main Roads is undertaking a study to review and update rail corridor planning in response to surrounding land use.

The required timing of the extension will be determined as part of a broader rail network investment strategy.

It will consider factors such as whole of network train operating strategies and capacity constraints, as well as population growth along corridors and associated demand forecasts, particularly in peak periods when demand is at its highest.

Redbank Plains' road network is mostly council."

Topics:  ipswich rail transport


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