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Figures show personal and business costs of M1 carpark

Published: 9 June 2016

Figures show personal and business costs of M1 carpark
City of Logan Mayor, Cr Luke Smith, talks to media about the Let's Get Moving infrastructure campaign

Frustrated commuters caught on the M1 motorway between Beenleigh and Underwood spend at least four days a year stuck in traffic.

Average travel times for the Pacific Motorway, recorded last month by Transport and Main Roads, show the stretch from Beenleigh to Underwood – a distance of 16km – takes an extra 12 minutes in peak hour. For a round trip, that’s nearly two hours a week or a minimum of 80 hours a year wasted on this short stretch.

A recent study by the federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development shows the financial cost of traffic delays is about $1000 per motorist each year in Brisbane and this figure is due to double by 2030.

The figures are being cited by City of Logan Mayor, Cr Luke Smith, in a campaign calling for federal candidates to commit to fixing the M1.

“The trip from Beenleigh to Underwood should take eight minutes. At 4am, it does, but by 6am you’ve hit gridlock and it’s a carpark until 10am,” he said. “This is just one small part of a much longer equation that’s holding back people’s lives and economic activity in Logan and the surrounding area,” he said.

“A recent report by the RACQ rates the M1 second on its Top 10 list of Unroadworthy Roads Survey and it is an accident blackspot near Springwood and Underwood.”

One business has had to change its business model to keep afloat.

True Blue Glass at Loganholme now has a ‘traffic control room’ with three staff to find ways through congestion for the company’s fleet of 16 vehicles that are mobile workshops fitted with back-to-base GPS units.

“It’s the only way we could stem the flow of money from the business, approximately $9000 a week. That includes loss of earnings, overtime incurred and extra fuel required,” said proprietor Bill Leavey.

Griffith University traffic expert Matt Burke says the issue requires bold thinking, but decentralisation could deliver big benefits for the state.

“If we look at other cities like Boston, Washington and San Francisco, they’ve developed a hub for ‘knowledge jobs’. This eases the tidal flow of traffic and it creates centres of expertise and suburban employment that are now thriving,” he said.

“You also see people making residential decisions based on how long it takes them to get to work. This could give us the congestion relief equivalent to three large tunnels in the city. It’s a much more efficient system.”

City of Logan Mayor, Luke Smith, said congestion on the M1 was holding back prosperity in South East Queensland, with Logan being a high-growth area and the major transit corridor between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

“We have nearly 182,000 voters in Logan and we want to help them make their voices heard in the lead up to this federal election.

“We are urging residents to contact their federal candidates to appeal to them to commit to improving the situation on the M1 and delivering other key transport and communications infrastructure in south-east Queensland.”

Residents can help us to make their voices heard in Canberra by heading to www.letsgetmoving.com.au or they can contact their federal candidates on social media using the hashtags #M1carpark or #letsgetmoving.