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LIGHT rail construction work in the centre of Surfers Paradise will stop for six weeks over the Christmas-New Year period in a win for struggling retailers.
The State Government has officially signed off on the change of timetable, which GoldLinQ implemented following ongoing consultation with businesses that have long been concerned about the impact on their busiest time of year.
Surfers Paradise Alliance and Surfers Paradise Precinct Advisory Group were involved in the process.
Work between View Ave and Beach Rd will now stop from December 16 until January 29.
The stoppage will not affect the overall timetable of the light rail but GoldLinQ is now assessing what parts of the route it can work on while the Surfers Paradise work is stopped. Surfers Paradise Alliance boss Mike Winlaw said the decision had averted a major disaster.
"With things as they stood, Surfers Paradise businesses would have gone broke," he said.
"Day and night work was scheduled throughout the heart of Surfers.
"No one would want to holiday in the middle of that.
"We have been working closely with GoldLinQ in the past few weeks and finally common sense has prevailed. I truly believe businesses would have been in serious trouble.
"The Christmas period is where traders make their money."
"We are thrilled with the outcome and know traders will be too."
GoldLinQ CEO Phil Mumford said he wanted to work with businesses, not against them.
"We want to support business to take advantage of their busiest trade times
" I think this a great outcome for the city," he said. "This will not affect overall delivery of the project as we have 13 kilometres of underground services, civils and track works to get on with to make sure trams are operational come mid-2014."
Stage One of the Gold Coast light rail is a $1 billion project, consisting of 14 trams and 16 stations stretching a 13km route between the Gold Coast University Hospital and Broadbeach.
This article first appeared on www.goldcoast.com.au
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