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THE Gold Coast light rail must be extended from Griffith University to Harbour Town under a new plan unveiled this afternoon.
Rookie state MP Sam O’Connor made the statement in his maiden speech to the parliament this afternoon.
The Bonney MP thanked supporters and told the house that a new public transport link was needed for the city’s north.
Mr O’Connor unveiled his plans today. Picture: Jerad Williams“We’re lucky to have everything so close including schools and university and job opportunities. I want to make sure they’re all as easy to get to as possible, whether that’s by road or public transport.
“Light rail has been transformative for the Gold Coast and we need it to maintain our lifestyle with the growth our city is experiencing. It must truly become the spine of our transport system.
“I want to see it extend along Olsen Avenue from the Hospital to Harbour Town. This essential connection could include stops at Southport Sharks and Central Street and would be a spur line of barely 3km in length.”
Bonney MP Sam O'Connor.Mr O’Connor said a tram extension would bring more business and greater opportunity for the city’s north.
“The Harbour Town area would become a hub and it would allow easier access to the tram network for people from Biggera Waters and further north,” he said.
“The data clearly shows that light rail works. People use it in huge numbers and it increases patronage on bus services too.
“Quality public transport is important to making sure communities like ours are viable and liveable.”
Light rail stage 2’s opening day. Picture: Jerad WilliamsThe Olsen Ave route is considered by some experiences to be relatively easy to achieve and unlikely to require any major resumptions.
It comes just days after new data revealed how popular the Gold Cost light rail is.
New Department of Transport figures show the rapid transit system has recorded an extra 510,000 passenger trips since its second stage was opened in December.
Stephen Harrison, chairman of the Gold Coast light rail business advisory committee said a Harbour Town spur line made logical sense but warned it would not become a reality for many years.
The ram would go to Harbour Town under Mr O’Connor’s plans Picture: Jerad Williams“The track was bent around the corner from the hospital to go in that direction in the future when the need is there,” he said.
“There are lots of opportunities for future stages across the Gold Coast, including up to Harbourtown and out to Nerang but the priorities of course is going to Coolangatta via the Airport.
“It is worth putting Harbour Town on the list of extensions for the light rail.”
This article first appeared on www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au
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