News, media releases

Government and Council at odds over traffic congestion – with no solution

  • Bus mall move in five days will lead to increased traffic chaos and safety concerns
  • Hidding puts the blame firmly at Hobart City Council’s feet
  • Minister – ridiculously – suggests Tasmanian police now supervise bus stops

After almost four years of presiding over Hobart’s traffic nightmare, Infrastructure Minister Rene Hidding still has no solution as the city’s commuters face fresh chaos on the roads from next week.

Shadow Planning Minister Madeleine Ogilvie said Mr Hidding today wiped his hands of addressing increasing traffic congestion, blaming Hobart City Council for chaos on the roads as well as a decision to move bus stops from Elizabeth Street into the high traffic Macquarie Street.

Ms Ogilvie said Mr Hidding’s only solution today to the traffic congestion engulfing Hobart – particularly as we head toward Christmas – was to blame the Hobart City Council.

“It’s been four years since Mr Hidding took over responsibility for transport issues in this state and it’s an indication of his commitment – or lack of – that today he told GBE hearings he had been watching congestion issues ‘closely but from some distance’,” Ms Ogilvie said.

“Traffic congestion is a serious problem for Hobart but it is just not an issue that is on the Hodgman Government’s radar.

“With the removal of stops from the bus mall on December 10 it is about to become a lot worse.

“There are also serious safety issues for school children with this move and today we have learned that major Hobart schools have not been consulted.

“Mr Hidding was clear that responsibility for roads and kerbs rests with the council. He was happy today to blame Lord Mayor Sue Hickey for growing congestion.

“It will take a Majority Labor Government to address Tasmania’s traffic issues with an investment of $60 million over 10 years to modernise passenger transport.

“Labor will establish a new Passenger Transport Corporation and dramatically lift the expectations of Government owned and private transport providers.

“A Labor Government will also test the market for potential operators to run a rail service between Hobart and Bridgewater to open up the public transport corridor.”