Highway tragedy demands funding action | Editorial

NEWS that a motorist died after a multi-vehicle incident on the Mount Lindesay Highway on Tuesday has shocked the community.

Even if you may not have known the people involved in the crash, it still hits close to home as we all use the highway on a regular basis.

The Beaudesert Times and many community groups and local politicians have been campaigning for improvements to what is one of Queensland’s worst roads.

Last year the RACQ named the Mount Lindesay as the third worst road in the state.

Only the 1600 kilometre Bruce Highway and Pacific Motorway were regarded as worse.

RACQ executive general manager Paul Turner said the biggest safety bugbear by far was rough road surfaces, followed by too-narrow roads or traffic lanes, poor road shoulders and roads prone to flooding.

All of these problems are prevalent on the Mount Lindesay.

He also pointed to a lack of overtaking opportunities between Browns Plains and Beaudesert as a distinct problem.

Earlier this year the state and federal governments chipped in with a $20 million commitment to upgrade the Mount Lindesay Highway.

Progress is slow and the sum pitifully small as more and more trucks and cars travel between the Scenic Rim and Brisbane daily as development continues.

It seems as though governments will continue to chase their tails with any improvements to this state road that has national significance.

The federal government also has just announced funding for the Inland Rail. The rail will link the Bromelton State Development Area with more freight from southern states, ensuring the strain on the highway will only intensify.

So what is the remedy?

In the short term it cannot be stressed enough that drivers must continue to exercise caution and patience when travelling on the obviously dangerous Mount Lindesay Highway.

However a long term, future-proof plan for the upgrade of this road must be put into action now. Its details also must be communicated to residents so people can see that progress is being made.

Lives should not be lost on our roads due to a lack of foresight in the planning for and upgrading of roads.