Report expected to drive road changes

Mayor Albert van Zetten stands on Charles Street and looks over the DIER report on an Eastern Link around the city. Picture: Scott Gelston

Mayor Albert van Zetten stands on Charles Street and looks over the DIER report on an Eastern Link around the city. Picture: Scott Gelston

AN EASTERN bypass of Launceston and a Tamar bridge proposal are among recommendations in a Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources report released for public comment by Launceston City Council.

The Launceston Traffic Study listed four high-level suggestions for reducing traffic movements in the city, including an inner ring road, the eastern bypass, upgrading Charles Street bridge and lessening conflicts on the existing Bathurst and Wellington Street couplet.

Seven bypass and ring road options were included in the report.

A full eastern bypass option is included in the report, which would run from Johnston Road at St Leonards to a Mowbray connector.

The full bypass would show a reduced travel time, but an increase in distance and operating costs for vehicles — an increase in overall road user cost.

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The report said, as such, most vehicles were likely to continue using the Bathurst Street and Wellington Street couplet.

The report's bridge suggestion would involve an 18-metre high, 460-metre long bridge from King's Wharf to Seaport marina.

It found the bridge would attract vehicles to commute between the East and West Tamar highways and redirect traffic away from the northern and eastern edges of Launceston CBD.

Options for upgrading or duplicating Charles Street bridge were also included in the DIER report.

Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said the council released the report for public consultation in June, and uploaded the report to its Launceston City Heart Project website.

"There's lots of things in there and we want people to look at it and give us their comments, including where — if there is going to be a (Tamar) bridge — where the bridge should be," he said.

"If we're going to have an east-west road, we've got to start buying land in that corridor.

"We can do it now at a cheaper rate than you can in the future and you can set stuff aside so nobody builds there, that's the part we need to be aware of."

Alderman van Zetten said any bridge proposal would still be considered a long-term project by the council.

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