Government to fast-track Bruce Highway safety upgrades

The federal and Queensland governments will together commit nearly $800 million towards fast-tracking a planned upgrade of a dangerous section of the Bruce Highway, it was announced this week.

The news has been welcomed by the RACQ, and may be seen as something of an early Christmas present for any Queensland-based fleet manager concerned about driver safety.

"This is fantastic news for Queenslanders and all motorists who travel on the Bruce Highway and after years of campaigning, Section A, from Cooroy southern interchange to Sankeys Road, will go ahead," said Queensland acting premier Jeff Seeney in a statement released December 18.

According to the RACQ, 24 people lost their lives due to accidents on the Cooroy to Gympie stretch of the Bruce Highway during the period between 2005 and 2009.

RACQ executive general manager of advocacy Paul Turner has noted that his organisation has been campaigning "for years" in order to get both the state and federal government to commit funding towards rolling out the planned upgrades.

“Today’s announcement is a great step forward in this process and will mean many lives will be saved on what has been one of the deadliest stretches of national highway, not only in Queensland, but across Australia," said Mr Turner.

"This is a great and well deserved announcement for the motorists of Queensland," said Mr Turner.

Mr Turner says that around 20,000 motorists use this stretch of the Bruce Highway every day, making it one of the busiest highway links in the state.

Despite this, it currently has only a single lane running in each direction and has therefore been operating well above capacity for a number of years.

The upgrade is scheduled to provide a separated dual carriageway for the stretch of highway, which Mr Turner says will reduce the risk of crashes, improve overtaking opportunities, and also reduce travel times - good news for fleet managers concerned about ongoing fuel consumption.