Planning has now begun for the proposed extension of the Gold Coast light rail to Burleigh Heads following the success of the trams during the Commonwealth Games.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said he was encouraged by the network’s ability to withstand the increased patronage during the Games and that the recently completed extension to Helensvale was critical to the event’s success.
“The tram network carried almost 100,000 passengers a day, nearly four times the normal daily average,” Mr Bailey said.
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“This would not have been possible without our unwavering commitment to this project and the fact we built it in record time.”
Mr Bailey said the time was now right to investigate the further extension of the tram line.
“The Palaszczuk Government is leading the development of a jointly-funded business case in partnership with the City of Gold Coast, with each contributing $5 million towards its cost,” he said.
“It makes sense to plan now for this vital project, which will enhance the lifestyle and economic opportunities for the Gold Coast.
“Light rail was designed to be delivered in stages to respond to the city’s growth and the first two stages of light rail have proven it to be a viable alternative to using the car.”
Mr Bailey said he expected the detailed business case for the next stage would be considered by the government early next year.
“The preferred extension runs about seven kilometres down the centre of the Gold Coast Highway between the Broadbeach South light rail station and Burleigh Heads,” he said.
“This will include up to eight new stations, however, final alignment and station locations have yet to be decided.
“Planning will include consultation with the community in the second half of this year.”
Acting Gold Coast Mayor Donna Gates said local firm Bennett and Bennett had started survey works this week to locate and identify underground services and map the reference alignment.
“There will be several surveying teams out on different parts of the corridor over the coming months,” Ms Gates said.
“The survey results would be used in the detailed business case to help decide engineering design, station locations and replacement, upgrading or relocation of underground services.”
Mr Bailey said planning further south on the Gold Coast Highway was also underway.
“We are in the early stages of reviewing the existing transport corridor south of Burleigh Heads to ensure it meets future requirements,” he said.
“This study will consider all transport modes – walking, cycling, driving and public transport, including the potential for a further extension of the light rail system.”