Pasengers riding a bus, Australia

Expanding Ipswich’s bus network has been promoted to a regionally significant priority, following unanimous acceptance by City of Ipswich Councillors at the Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee meeting held in early September. 

The decision comes as part of Ipswich City Council’s ongoing advocacy for improved infrastructure and services for the City, and will be directed to the next Advocacy Steering Group meeting for consideration of the appropriate advocacy effort.

Council’s regionally significant projects list is currently made up of six projects, including:

  • Critical and Enabling Infrastructure
  • Ebenezer Regional Industrial Area
  • Ipswich Central Second River Crossing
  • Ipswich to Springfield Central Public Transport Corridor
  • North Ipswich Sport and Entertainment Precinct
  • Waste and Circular Economy Transformation

Public transport services in Ipswich are administered by the TransLink Division of the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Chair and Ipswich Mayor, Teresa Harding, said voting to make this project an advocacy priority meant council would double down on its efforts to secure State Government support for improved bus services.

“Elevating Ipswich’s bus network as a regional priority means Council is advocating on behalf of our growing communities to ensure they have access to reliable and efficient public transport sooner rather than later,” Mayor Harding said.

“Put simply, success through advocacy would be a significant and sustained increase of investment by the State Government in the Ipswich bus network.”

Council has identified two initial priority service improvements – an expansion of the bus network within Redbank Plains (south of Redbank Plains Road) and a trunk bus connection between Ipswich Central and Springfield Central.

Mayor Harding said, “We know that 70 per cent of Ipswich’s population growth is taking place in the corridor between Ipswich and Springfield Central.

“The ultimate goal is the development of the Ipswich to Springfield Central Public Transport Corridor, and while this project is now progressing, its completion is still years away.

“Council will now be focused on working collaboratively with the State Government to deliver a regional solution to the expansion of our local bus network.”

Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Deputy Chairperson Councillor Paul Tully said while Council and TransLink are aligned strategically from a network planning perspective, funding has been the roadblock to progress.

“If future investment in the bus network from the State Government is not forthcoming, bus patronage in Ipswich may continue to decrease,” Cr Tully said.

“On the current trajectory whereby investment in the bus network has not kept up with residential growth, the public transport mode share within Ipswich will continue to decline, shifting further away from the eleven per cent mode share target identified in iGO – the City of Ipswich Transport Plan.

“The risk of not servicing both growth and established areas with an appropriate level of public transport is that these communities establish habits/patterns of car usage, which is difficult to break once established, leading to greater congestion on roads, pollution, as well as various social-economic issues.”

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