RACQ Report Reveals Centenary Motorway Crawls at School Zone Speeds During Peak Hours

The Centenary Motorway is living up to its name and taking drives back a century with average weekday peak hour speeds slower than suburban school zones.


Read: Olympic-Size Congestion: Call For Urgent Upgrade on Centenary Highway


The latest traffic data from  Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ) shows the major Brisbane motorway corridor is a slow grind, with average speeds of just 37.4 km/h between Ipswich Motorway and Fig Tree Pocket Road during the 6-10 a.m. peak period.

RACQ’s 2023 Average Speed and Travel Time Report revealed the Centenary Motorway is one of the city’s most congested routes. The Pacific Motorway between North Quay and O’Keefe Street was Brisbane’s slowest at just 28.6km/h in the 3-7 p.m. afternoon peak period.

Photo credit: Google Street View

The organisation’s Head of Public Policy, Dr Michael Kane, acknowledged the ongoing Centenary Bridge upgrade work but emphasised that more comprehensive solutions are required to mitigate the escalating traffic challenges. This includes considering connections to proposed bypass tunnels to allow motorists to skirt around Brisbane.

“We know the Queensland Government is working on a draft Master Plan for the Centenary Motorway and we need this to be holistic and well thought out,” Dr Kane said.

“Any long-term planning for the Centenary Motorway corridor must consider a connecting ‘Western Bypass’ corridor linking through to the proposed Gympie Road Bypass Tunnel.

Proposed Gympie Road Bypass Tunnel (Photo credit: northbrisbaneinfrastructure.com.au)

“By fixing, finishing and extending our outer ring of motorways we will take traffic off our local roads and corridors by allowing them to bypass Brisbane altogether.

According to Dr Kane, any comprehensive strategy must heavily incorporate public transit solutions, such as segregated bus lanes, allowing for the possibility of extending the Brisbane Metro network’s reach.

The RACQ report did have a silver lining – upgraded sections of the Pacific Motorway saw dramatic speed improvements, giving a glimpse of how Brisbane traffic could flow if solutions are implemented.


Read: Congested Section Of Centenary Motorway To Receive Much-needed Upgrades


RACQ is eager to collaborate closely with local, state, and federal government entities as they persist in championing the interests of drivers across Queensland.

Published 27-March-2024

Left Out of State Budget, Centenary Motorway Will Continue Peak-Hour Crawl – RACQ

“Always the bridesmaid, never the bride,” that’s how RACQ spokesperson Renee Smith described Centenary Motorway as it once again missed out in this year’s State Budget.

The state’s peak monitoring body was calling on the Palaszczuk Government to make the Centenary Motorway a priority before the 2017-18 State Budget was announced. But the State Budget turned out to be a disappointment to Centenary when the major highway did not receive funding for upgrades.

Because of the budget snub, motorists would have to wait yet another year for their hope of improvements to the main thoroughfare.

The RACQ spokesperson noted how for several years, there have been planning studies but no money for actual construction.

“Since 2004, there has been money put aside for planning for the major thoroughfare but the State Government has fallen short of providing significant funds to improve choke points along this vital road,” said Ms Smith.

The government allocated $700,000 for planning research that started in 2016. By the looks of it, that would continue up to this financial year.

RACQ stressed that leaving Centenary Motorway as is would mean that drivers will continue with the crawling speed during peak hours.

Latest studies from RACQ revealed that some section of Centenary Motorway registered the slowest traffic speed during peak hours in Brisbane. Motorists are travelling way below the average speed compared to last year. From Warrender Street and Sumners Road, for instance, traffic speed dropped by as much as 26 percent in the hours between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.

“It’s waited long enough – let’s reward the Centenary and its thousands of commuters for their patience, with actual funding commitments to improving this major corridor,” Ms Smith said.

Mount Ommaney Ignored

Mount Ommaney MP, Tarnya Smith also voiced out her disappointment at how Mount Ommaney was ignored in the State Budget.

Ms Smith wrote on her Facebook page how the budget was a complete let-down for Mount Ommaney residents. She expressed dismay that there was no funding for upgrades of Sumners Road and Centenary Highway.

“Once again for the third year running, the elephant is still in the room. Sumners Road is left without funding and worse still, commuters are still stuck in traffic,” Ms Smith said.

Read Ms Smith’s Facebook Note.

Find out more about Queensland Budget 2017-18.