Written by Kuravi Piggott

May 24, 2017

Protesters say there are better ways to spend the upgrade money

East Brisbane residents today lined the fence of Parliament House protesting the planned upgrades of Lytton Road.

The road is one of the most heavily congested thoroughfares in Brisbane and a planned $150-million upgrade is hoped to ease the traffic chaos.

Leader of the protest and long-time East Brisbane resident Julie Vincent says the plan will not work.

“The East Brisbane residents have been completely sidelined. Nobody has taken into consideration what we think,” Ms Vincent says.

Protesters say the council is not listening to residents and are now turning to the State Government.

“We collected a whole lot of signatures to deliver to Jackie Trad,” Ms Vincent says.

Around 70 properties will be demolished so a 700m section of Lytton Road, between Latrobe Street and Canning Bridge, can be widened from four lanes to six.

“People are losing their houses,” she says.

“They are taking heritage houses and part Mowbray Park and it’s not going to work.

Brisbane City Council Member for Morningside Ward Shayne Sutton says residents have been considered throughout entire process.

“We won’t progress this road without some concern for residents who will be directly impacted,” Ms Sutton says.

But admits the upgrade is well overdue.

“There are over 56,000 vehicles a day using this road and that is only projected to increase,” Ms Sutton says.

“It’s taking people who live less than 5km from the CBD almost an hour to get to work

The upgrade is also expected to help improve safety, with 53 recorded accidents on the small stretch of road in just a four-year period.

While Ms Sutton supports the upgrade, she says her council would have a slightly different approach.

“Firstly it would include the duplication of Canning Bridge because I do think we are shifting the bottle neck without duplicating Canning Bridge,” she says.

“I also believe Stage two of the road upgrade, the section between Canning Bridge to Riding road should also be pursued immediately following Stage One.”

Construction is expected to begin in early 2018 and be finished by 2020.