The investigation by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) has been completed and we can provide the following information from the Minister:
Vegetation maintenance along Louis Bazzo Drive
TMR undertakes mowing along Louis Bazzo Drive once a quarter. TMR mows three metres from the edge of the road where the location permits, with a wider mow undertaken once a year. This is standard across the state-controlled network, and allows a safe line of sight for roadside furniture such as signs, guideposts, driveway access points and other intersecting roads. The next mow is scheduled to occur in August-September 2018, weather permitting. Tree trimming and other maintenance activities are assessed, prioritised and undertaken as required, based on safety considerations. TMR will continue to monitor the road and undertake routine maintenance as required.
Naming of Louis Bazzo Drive/Boreen Road
All state-controlled roads in Queensland have a declared road name. However, they often have a more common local road name which may be used by the public and on directional signs. Local road names can refer to the entire length of the road, or a particular section. In relation to Louis Bazzo Drive, the declared state-controlled road name is Boreen Road and the local name is Louis Bazzo Drive. I am advised that North Coast District recognises the local and declared names for roads in its district.
With regard to emergency services being able to locate destinations along Louis Bazzo Drive, I am advised that TMR is unaware that this has been an issue. However, action has been taken to ensure that Boreen Road is listed as the alternate name on publicly disseminated road data, including GPS and navigational systems.
Six Mile Creek Bridge on Louis Bazzo Drive and school bus transport
There are currently no plans to upgrade Six Mile Creek Bridge on Louis Bazzo Drive. TMR will continue to undertake inspections and maintenance to ensure it is kept in a safe and trafficable condition. The impact that road and bridge closures due to weather events have on communities is acknowledged. TMR carefully manages closures to ensure the safety of road users, avoid damage to infrastructure and minimise disruptions to motorists
With regards to school bus transport, TMR’s School Transport Assistance Scheme (STAS) provides assistance to school students who do not have a state school facility close to their home. The Queensland Government funds STAS in the order of $170 million per year, and criteria is applied to ensure fair and consistent application of STAS across the state. To be eligible, primary school students must live more than 3.2 kilometres by the shortest trafficable route from their nearest state primary school, and secondary students must reside more than 4.8 kilometres from their nearest state high school. Students must also travel on the designated service for their area to an educational facility for the year level required. In most cases, this is the closest suitable service to the family residence.
Parents are entitled to enrol their children in the school of their choice. However, any transport costs associated with this decision fall outside the purpose of STAS and are the responsibility of parents and guardians. With a network of bus services transporting more than 67,000 students across the state each day, it is difficult for bus operators or TMR to make decisions on the safest route for students to make their way to their designated transport point. For this reason, the safety of students remains the responsibility of parents and guardians until they are collected by the bus. More information on school transport and STAS can be found online at www.translink.com.au or by contacting Translink by telephone on 1312 30.
Standard of Louis Bazzo Drive and suggestion for speed limit changes
I can assure you that TMR designs roads and road infrastructure in accordance with technical design standards that are current at the time of construction. These standards change over time, and current standards are applied when new infrastructure is built, or upgrades are undertaken. TMR carefully prioritises projects to ensure that funds are directed to locations identifying the greatest safety and capacity needs. Priorities and upgrade treatments are determined by consideration of site-specific parameters that include recorded crash history, traffic volumes, road geometry and visibility. Considering these factors, there are currently no plans to upgrade Louis Bazzo Drive.
TMR completed a speed limit review (SLR) on Louis Bazzo Drive, in late 2017. SLR considered factors such as crash history, traffic volumes and prevailing speeds, road function, and roadside development and activities. SLR resulted in a reduction from 100 km/h to 90 km/h on this road. Given the recent reduction, there are no plans to change the speed limit on Louis Bazzo Drive.
Request for a turning lane from Kin Kin Road onto Louis Bazzo Drive
I am advised that a turning lane from Kin Kin Road onto Louis Bazzo Drive would require significant widening and changes to the intersection. A review of the available recorded (injury-related) crash data in the last five years from the Queensland Police Service (OPS), indicates that there is no crash history at this intersection. However, there is a delay in data available from OPS of approximately six to nine months, and it does not include near misses or property damage, only crashes. Based on the abovementioned criteria, and the need to prioritise upgrades across the state, funding for a turning lane at this location cannot be allocated at this time.