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THE Gold Coast City Council has held talks with traffic engineers to create light rail spur lines to the city’s two biggest stadiums.
City leaders want trams to travel west to both Robina and Nerang, via Carrara, to service a projected population boom, national sports teams and the Gold Coast’s newest theme parks.
They want it completed by 2030.
With funding secured to complete planning for track to the border, Mayor Tom Tate said the council was fast-tracking two western routes to “fully integrate” the transport route.
The immediate priority is stage three from Broadbeach-Burleigh and to the airport at Coolangatta, with the western routes to follow.
The Robina route would likely run from the Gold Coast Highway along Christine Ave through Varsity Lakes with major stops at Robina Town Centre. It would terminate at the Robina railway station and Cbus Stadium, home of the Gold Coast Titans.
CBUS Super Stadium, Robina. Picture: JERAD WILLIAMSThe Nerang route is expected to run along Nerang-Broadbeach Road, terminating at the Nerang railway station, with a major stop at Metricon Stadium.
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Both are forecast to be completed within 13 years, with the Nerang line connecting from Broadbeach likely to be the first.
Metricon Stadium (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)Funding for both is expected to come from all levels of government, in line with the first two stages. However, public-private partnerships could also be considered.
Cr Tate said completing the coastal spine was the city’s priority, but the western routes would be fast-tracked to support increasing growth east of the M1.
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“This is now part of our long-term budget and the way we are looking ahead because it is a cost-effective way of getting around the city,” he said.
Mayor Tom Tate. Picture Glenn Hampson“The timing of both will depend on private investment in that area and in Robina this would turn Cbus Stadium in a much more viable location allowing people to get there.
“At Nerang, we are seeing a lot of building along Nerang-Broadbeach Road and we will also take the opportunity to speak with the developers of the proposed theme park at Nerang to see how much this would help them.”
LIGHT RAIL ON A ROLL FOR STAGE 3
Talks to progress the western route comes a month after the State Government committed $5 million to planning of stage 3A, which will run from Broadbeach to Burleigh Heads.
Stations on the Light Rail’s third stage.Major projects planned or under construction along the expected Broadbeach-Nerang route include Sunland’s The Lakes housing development and Chinese billionaire Huang Qiaoling’s Songcheng theme park, the $600 million Australian Legends World.
In Robina, developer Walker Corporation has filed plans to build the $1.2 million Breakwater estate, home to more than 2000 homes.
Robina councillor and city economic development boss Hermann Vorster said the western light rail routes would be put to the public for consultation.
“There is a lot of excitement about bringing the trams west but we need to make sure the planning is done right and while a route along Cheltenham and Cottesloe Drive may seem straight forward, the zoning would not support it,” he said.
Cr Hermann Vorster. Pic by Richard Gosling“Varsity Lakes and Robina already have a document parking shortage and we desperately need to support the struggling businesses there.
“This would give us the opportunity to link all three universities together to create a knowledge triangle unrivalled anywhere on the continent.”
Council hopes construction starts on 3A by 2020, with the airport link to follow.
The move has been backed by leading Gold Coast businessman and Gold Coast Suns chairman Tony Cochrane.
Suns Chairman Tony Cochrane (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)He said it would solve both transport and parking issues in the Carrara sports precinct.
“Currently the public are paying through the nose for a second rate transport system to the stadiums when the light rail would clearly alleviate these issues,” he said.
‘I like a lot of other Gold Coasters would like to see it go west before it goes to the airport because this is a logical place to be — the forward planning for the rail was pretty poor and bringing it our way would resolve the issues.”
This article first appeared on www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au
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