Far north Queenslanders fed up with region’s roads

Far north Queenslanders have slammed the state of roads in their region and demanded they receive vital safety improvements, a new RACQ survey has revealed.

A stretch of the Captain Cook Highway near Cairns

As part of its Transport Priorities Survey, the Club gave more than 2000 Queenslanders a hypothetical $100 million and asked how they would spend it to improve their local transport network.

RACQ spokesperson Lucinda Ross said participants in the Cairns, Cook, Mareeba, Tablelands, Cassowary Coast and surrounding regions said they would allocate almost two-thirds of their total budget to delivering upgrades to local and State-controlled roads.

“Locals are in the best position to identify the problems their roads face, and when you put the power in their hands it becomes clear what they value most and where they want to see improvements, and they’re clearly frustrated by its current state,” Ms Ross said.

“More than 60 percent told us they’re concerned about the safety of main and local roads in around the region and around half felt roads needed upgrading due to high traffic volumes. Poor maintenance was another factor really grinding their gears.

“Some of the most important projects they told us they want to see delivered are safety upgrades on the region’s range roads and overtaking lanes on the Bruce and Kennedy Highways.”

Ms Ross said the respondents, on average, said they would allocate almost one quarter of their budgets to boosting public transport.

“This is because more than half of respondents consider public transport in their region to be insufficient and want to see additional services provided. They also told us their current journeys take too long, stops and stations are uncomfortable and services don’t run where they need to,” she said.

“Sadly, regional Queensland risks transport disadvantage because of its smaller populations spread over larger areas, so often the region’s disregarded when it comes to funding for these services. Everyone pays rates and taxes and it’s time their concerns were listened to.”