There’s finally some relief on the way for Tweed and Coolangatta locals battling major traffic congestion as a result of the Queensland border closure.
It’s been confirmed a fourth checkpoint will finally open on Miles Street in Coolangatta at 7.00am on Thursday, December 31 – just in time for the New Years Eve rush.
It’s the news border residents have been waiting desperately to hear, with many having been stuck in gridlock traffic delays between 90 minutes and three hours over the past week.
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Police Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler said it will be a huge relief for thousands of people.
“What it will do is relieve some of the pressure around the Coolangatta and also Tweed local road network,” Chief Supt Wheeler said.
“At the moment we’ve got the three checkpoints operating, the M1, Gold Coast Highway and Griffith Street, which of course has caused a lot of congestion not only on those major networks coming into Queensland, but around the local road networks around Coolangatta and the Tweed.”
He said police have been working around the clock to get the additional checkpoint open as soon as possible.
“We’ve worked really hard to get this open as quickly as we can because we want to make sure both sides of the border are looked after,” Chief Supt Wheeler said.
“We understand that there are impacts on peoples daily lives, particularly for those travelling to work everyday, so i just want to commend all the staff that worked really hard to do that”.
Since the border was closed to the Greater Sydney area one week ago, police have turned around 300 vehicles containing over 700 people and issued 10 infringement notices.
More than 540,000 border declaration passes have also been downloaded.
“So that tells us there are a lot of people wanting to come into Queensland,” Chief Supt Wheeler said.
At the moment, there is around 100,000 cars being processed each day at the three Gold Coast border checkpoints, with Chief Supt Wheeler admitting it’s been a “complex and mammoth task”.
Motorists crossing the border are being urged to plan ahead and have their border declaration passes displayed clearly on their windscreens.