Funding pledged for congested section of Gateway Motorway


Queensland LNP promises extra lanes to reduce traffic congestion if it is re-elected on January 31.

Funding pledged for congested section of Gateway Motorway
Queensland transport minister Scott Emerson.

 

The notorious southbound merge on the Pacific and Gateway motorway in Queensland will be upgraded if the Liberal National Party (LNP) is re-elected.

Transport minister Scott Emerson has pledged $170 million to provide two more southbound lanes at the merge at Eight Mile Plains to reduce congestion.

The funding is due to come from the LNP’s plan to privatise government assets under 99-year leases.

Emerson says the multi-million dollar upgrade will also include an extension of the existing busway lane and the construction of a new park-and-ride facility.

Motoring group RACQ has welcomed the funding commitment. It lists an upgrade of the merge as a top priority, saying it is a major bottleneck on the Pacific Motorway.

RACQ Executive Manager Public Policy Michael Roth said the upgrade would improve safety and increase capacity along the busy route.

"These upgrades will ease the regular congestion along the motorway, which currently resembles a car park during peak hour," RACQ executive manager of public policy Michael Roth says.

He says the busway extension and park-and-ride facility will make public transport a more viable option for commuters, in turn helping to ease congestion on the Pacific Motorway.

However, the Opposition has questioned if the LNP can deliver on its road funding promises.

Opposition spokeswoman on transport Jackie Trad says there is no funding available for any project that relies on asset sales.

"The premier himself has placed a cloud of doubt over the proceeds from asset sales which means there is no certainty about any promise he makes," Trad says.

"Campbell Newman spent the past year saying we have no choice but to sell assets but now says there might not be a buyer.

"His whole plan depends on privatisation and he has no plan B. Without asset sales he can’t fund any of his promises.

Queenslanders are due to vote on January 31.

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