News, media releases

Government’s massive fail on traffic congestion brings back to school nightmare

  • Hodgman Government has no plan around traffic congestion relief
  • Premier and Minister should be lobbying Canberra to alleviate traffic nightmare
  • Hidding’s free bus trial designed to fail with unrealistic timings
  • Labor’s All Aboard policy thoroughly addresses traffic problems

The Hodgman Liberal Government has no plan to alleviate Tasmania’s growing traffic congestion problems as parents and students today faced a nightmare return to school on the state’s roads.

Shadow Transport Minister Craig Farrell said the government and Minister Rene Hidding had done nothing over the past three years to address the on-going bumper-to-bumper havoc on major routes around the state, including a massive failure to lobby Canberra for a greater share of roads infrastructure funding.

Mr Farrell said by contrast, Labor had early last year launched its game-changing,  $60 million long-term passenger transport strategy designed to ease Tasmania’s growing traffic congestion problem, which includes the establishment of a Passenger Transport Corporation to modernise public transport and dramatically increase patronage.

“The sum total of Mr Hidding’s achievement in the crucial need to battle traffic congestion and stop the gridlock is a doomed-to-fail trial of free Metro bus services for about three weeks this month and – ridiculously – only for passengers getting on board before 7am,” Mr Farrell said.

“Put bluntly, that is a pathetic effort.

“It will not give the government an accurate picture of how many people are catching public transport in the peak times like today when thousands of parents are trying to get their kids back to school and face not only a traffic nightmare but a lack of public transport options.

Labor’s 10-year growth strategy will increase the number of full-fare paying passengers by 50 per cent by 2028.

“This will increase revenue coming into state coffers and reduce government subsidies that currently sit at $70 million annually.

“Importantly, Labor’s strategy includes free transport for students to their nearest school, reducing traffic gridlock at peak times to boost the Tasmanian economy and provide relief for families paying to send their kids to school.”

Labor Upper House candidate for Rumney Sarah Lovell said the Hodgman Government’s lack of foresight in combatting traffic congestion was highlighted by its failure to improve bus services around the eastern shore and to Sorell, which could potentially remove hundreds of cars from the roads.

“The government has no plans to increase services to Sorell which shows an incredible failure to plan for a modern transport system in a growing city,” Ms Lovell said.

“This Liberal government also lacks the ability and the nerve to lobby Canberra for infrastructure money which Tasmania needs and deserves – like the funding Federal Labor has placed on the table to build the $32 million overpass at the airport roundabout.

“That is a game-changing project that would not only free up the bottlenecks on the Tasman Highway every morning as people try to get into Hobart, it would open up Sorell as a potentially booming economic centre.”