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Car tunnels and air quality

Car tunnel users and residents living in suburbs surrounding tunnel exhaust stacks can expect greater exposure to fine particle and air toxic pollution once the Clem Jones (North South Bypass) Tunnel comes online in Brisbane.

Tunnel users need to hold their breath and wind up their windows as they pay $4 to drive through the Clem Jones “Gas Chamber”.

And don’t expect it to be a quick ride in and out of the tunnel. Sydney commuters sit in stop start traffic in car tunnels everyday. Tunnels are just another four lane road, and like any other road they clog up with traffic.

The impact statements for the Brisbane tunnels also show that there will be greater congestion on arterial roads leading to the car tunnels, which will create even more air pollution.

It’s almost impossible to have a cigarette in a pub now, due to the dangers of passive smoking, but the exhaust chimneys emitting fumes from the tunnel will be like giant smoking cigarettes in our suburbs.

The solution is not even more roads, but to build a public transport system for Brisbane that offers people an effective alternative to the car.