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THE light rail trip from Broadbeach to Burleigh will be as fast as 16 minutes — but it’s going to be a long wait for the first service to arrive.
State Parliament has been given new data on stage 3A of light rail along with the Cross River Rail project as the Palaszczuk Government outlines its “rail revolution” to end Gold Coast traffic congestion.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey said a detailed business case was being built for the 6.7km long track from the Broadbeach South station to Burleigh Heads.
But building it was going to take up to three years — considerably longer than the second stage.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey at Estimates hearing. (AAP Image/Glenn Hunt)“Comprising seven or eight new stations and adding five new trams to the existing 18-vehicle fleet, stage 3A is anticipated to have a journey time of around 16 to 17 minutes,” Mr Bailey told the Estimates hearing.
“Community drop-in sessions will be held in Burleigh Heads and Mermaid Beach mid-August … the sessions will be advertised in local newspapers and approximately 21,000 newsletters will be delivered along and adjacent to the stage 3A alignment.”
The current trip from Helensvale to Broadbeach is 45 minutes which means the total trip down the coast to Burleigh will take just more than an hour.
Mr Bailey said it was critical for the Gold Coast community to provide comment on the track design.
“Valuable community feedback provided during the drop-in sessions will be used to inform the detailed design,” he said. “I understand the detailed business case will be finalised late this year.”
LIGHT RAIL CONSULTATION ON BROADBEACH TO BURLEIGH ROUTE
Construction evident on the light rail near the South Broadbeach station. Pic Adam HeadCouncil planning documents have suggested construction of the 6.4km extension will start in 2020 at the earliest and not be completed until 2023.
The 13km first stage from Broadbeach to Parklands took three years, finishing in 2014, and the second much easier 7.3km build west to Helensvale took two years and was completed in late 2017.
Mr Bailey said light rail stage two was delivered in “18 months flat” which compared to NSW, where its government was 12 months late and $1 billion over budget with its light rail system.
Mr Bailey told Parliament the detailed business case would provide information about the proposed route, procurement and financial costs.
“Construction of light rail stage 3A would take around two to three years and would be contingent on funding being secured from all three levels of government,” he said.
Light rail stop opposite Monaco Street at Broadbeach. Pic Glenn HampsonCouncillors expect the council will approach the State Government for funding before next year’s mid-year budget.
Mr Bailey said the Government had an equally strong record on heavy rail, duplicating the line from Coomera to Helensvale and committing $700 million to Cross River Rail.
“That (Cross River Rail) is a project the LNP opposed all the way. It should have been two-thirds built. It was not, because the previous (LNP Newman) government dropped it,” he said.
“It is critical to public transport patronage. We will see a modal shift onto rail, particularly going from Brisbane to the Gold Coast, of about 18,500 people.
“That will also mean the M1 will be in better shape because for some people — not all people, for some people — it will be faster to get to Brisbane and commute on the rail line with Cross River Rail and our improvements to the rail system than it would be to drive.”
This article first appeared on www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au
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