More rest stops for drivers to revive

Motorists travelling on the Bruce Highway between Cairns and Ingham have more places to stop and revive thanks to a $3.2 million safety upgrade package.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the rest stop package was fully-funded under the Federal Government’s $175.2 million Additional funding for Rest Areas, Black Spots and Safety Upgrades package.

“It is important drivers take care when travelling long distances and stop every two hours to make sure they reach their destinations safely,” Mr McCormack said.

“This is why we have invested in a new rest area at Five Mile Creek Road, south of Cardwell and a new heavy vehicle stopping area at Fishery Falls, which is expected to be completed next month.”

"Existing rest stops at Rungoo, Bilyana, Lagoon Creek, Digger Creek, Liverpool Creek and Fred Drew Park have also received upgrades including the installation of toilets, shelters, improved right turns and line marking, guide posts and additional sealing.”

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the State Government was committed to making the Bruce Highway safer with more rest area upgrades.

“Driver fatigue is recognised as one of the fatal five and a major contributor to lives lost on Queensland roads and providing areas for motorists to stop, rest and revive is vital in the management of driver fatigue on Queensland roads,” Mr Bailey said.

“This funding also supported 22 jobs through the construction phase, so the local communities also benefited.”

Mr Bailey said the State Government regularly published a Guide to Queensland Roads, which assisted motorists to plan their journey and identified the state’s rest area facilities.

Townsville-based Senator for Queensland Susan McDonald said since the jointly funded $12.6 billion Bruce Highway Upgrade Program began in 2013, 27 new rest areas have been constructed and seven existing rest areas have been upgraded.

“I’m especially pleased that many of these areas are suitable as truck stops. Our truck drivers cover long distances transporting cattle and ore, the food we eat and the goods we all use and they need somewhere safe to pull over and rest, check loads and eat,” Senator McDonald said.

“These rest areas will provide additional safe stopping places and will be well used by them.

“Giving people more security and confidence on the roads by increasing opportunities to stop and revive is a great outcome of projects such as this.”

Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said rest stop upgrades and major projects like the soon-to-get-underway $481 million Bruce project from Edmonton to Gordonvale in Cairns would not only get Queenslanders home safely, but also support local businesses and jobs.

“The Bruce is the backbone of our region’s economy, connecting millions of Queenslanders and supporting local freight and business transport,” Mr Pitt said.

“We all want our loved ones to arrive home safely. Rest area upgrades across the far north are about providing safe places for motorists to stop and refresh before continuing their journey.”

The Guide to Queensland Roads is available at tmr.qld.gov.au. Simply type 'guide to Queensland roads' into the search box and follow the links.