A $1.5 million feasibility study into an eastern bypass for Launceston is set to get under way, but an independent MLC says she is sceptical the project will be built after the report is finished because she's "heard it all before".
Infrastructure Minister Michael Ferguson and Bass Liberal MHR Bridget Archer announced the study on Wednesday, saying engineering consultancy firm Pitt & Sherry had been engaged to undertake it.
The feasibility study was a Liberal Party election promise made during the 2019 federal campaign.
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Independent Launceston MLC Rosemary Armitage said the first report into the need for a bypass was published in the 1960s and that the idea had been considered in studies by the former Labor government and professional services company GHD in 2013.
She lamented that the proposal was "all reports and no action or outcome".
"What I would like to know is how much money has been spent on such reports and studies to date," Ms Armitage said.
"With the amount of new subdivisions being opened up in and around Launceston, it is essential we have a long-term strategic traffic plan implemented with adjoining councils working together. An eastern bypass removing some of the congestion and heavy traffic off our roads would alleviate some of the problems existing now and into the future.
"Our city is choking."
The new feasibility study will seek to examine how an eastern bypass could reduce traffic congestion, improve safety and increase liveability in Launceston.
It is expected to be completed by December.
"The feasibility study will use traffic modelling and existing surveys of the origin and destination of journeys to determine if a bypass will improve freight movement, congestion, travel time reliability and future land use," Mr Ferguson said in a statement.
Mrs Archer said there had been calls to build an eastern bypass for "a number of years". She said such a project could not only address transport issues in the city but also provide "an alternative to travelling through inner-Launceston.".
It's said the study will consider the technical requirements of building a bypass, and any potential impact on the environment, heritage and the community.
Our city is choking.- Rosemary Armitage, independent Launceston MLC
Concept designs will be developed and cost estimates generated.
Labor infrasturcture spokesman Shane Broad said it was "no surprise that as we get closer to an election the Liberals will announce more feasibility studies to paper over their complete lack of action dealing with traffic problems in Launceston".
"We are calling for this project to be fast-tracked because the government has done nothing since the last election when they announced the fabled Tamar River Bridge which has proved to be nothing more than a pretty picture," he said.
"There is not much point announcing and reannouncing projects when nothing happens on the ground. Studies won't fix traffic problems - only real action will."
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