Media Release: Jon Stanhope MLA, 5 August 2009

Officials from the ACT Office of Transport and the Queanbeyan City Council will begin a formal conversation around improving public transport linkages between the two cities, following an agreement reached today by Chief Minister Jon Stanhope and Queanbeyan Mayor Tim Overall.

Officials from the Queanbeyan City Council this afternoon gave a presentation to the Chief Minister and ACT officials on the Draft Queanbeyan Strategic Traffic Plan 2031.

Speaking after the meeting Mr Stanhope said it had been extremely useful for the ACT to gain a greater understanding of where traffic bottlenecks were likely to emerge over the coming decades, as Queanbeyan’s population grew.

“About 30,000 people travel from Queanbeyan into the ACT and home each day, or from the ACT into Queanbeyan and back, and it is obvious that traffic linkages between our cities need to be jointly managed as our populations expand,” Mr Stanhope said.

“One area in particular in which we need to do some creative thinking is in the area of public transport, if we are serious about increasing public transport’s share of this significant daily movement of people.

“Mayor Overall and I have therefore resolved to establish a formal dialogue between our officials, to see how public transport can be better coordinated between our cities.”

Cr Overall said the population of Queanbeyan and its surrounds was expected to double over the next two decades and Council modelling showed clearly where the pressure points of the future were likely to be.

“Our modelling also took into account significant data from Roads ACT and gives us an opportunity to work collaboratively to address traffic needs of the future – before they become the traffic problems of the future,” Cr Overall said.

“In the area of public transport there are particular complexities, including the fact that the ACT’s buses are government-owned and run, while Queanbeyan’s bus service is a private business.”

Today’s meeting was the latest in a regular program of meetings between the Chief Minister and the Mayor, aimed at fostering greater communication and collaboration on cross-border issues.


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