Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 4: New video reveals first look at Palm Beach, Currumbin, Tugun tram route

Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 4: New video reveals first look at Palm Beach, Currumbin, Tugun tram route

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  • Post published:July 12, 2021
  • Post category:News

Article originally published on Gold Coast Bulletin

Stage 4 of the light rail between Burleigh and the border will be 13km long and feature more than nine stations, two new bridges and a wildlife overpass.

The exclusive first details of the controversial multi-billion project – revealed by the Bulletin – will be officially unveiled on Monday morning when community consultation begins on the final piece of the tram’s coastal stretch.

A detailed fly-through video by the state government as part of its detailed business case shows how the trams will dramatically transform the southern Gold Coast between Burleigh and Tugun.

It does not include any details of the Tugun to border section of the tram, including its Gold Coast Airport station, with the video noting this section is the subject of a “multi-modal” corridor study.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the project, which is a key plank of public transport for the 2032 Olympic Games, would play a major role in the economic revival from Covid-19.

“We are investing in public transport on the Gold Coast to create jobs, stimulate the local economy and take cars off the roads into the future,” she said. “It’s thanks to my government we’ve been able to deliver the first two stages of the light rail.

A new pedestrian bridge and light rail bridge are proposed for Currumbin Creek
A new pedestrian bridge and light rail bridge are proposed for Currumbin Creek

“We’re working on stage three and today, we’re giving Gold Coasters an insight into what stage four might look like.

“We want feedback from locals. We want to hear what they think of the designs – that’s what today’s all about.”

The planned fauna bridge.
The planned fauna bridge.

Features of stage 4 in the video include:

– A fauna land bridge crossing between Burleigh Headland and Burleigh National Park;

– Stations at Burleigh Heads National Park, Twenty Eighth Ave, Nineteenth Ave, Eleventh Ave, Palm Beach Ave, Thrower Drive, Tomewin St, Toolona St and Boyd Street;

– New bridges crossing Tallebudgera and Currumbin creeks for both trams and pedestrians. The Currumbin Creek pedestrian bridge has previously been revealed;

– The Gold Coast Highway will be reduced to two lanes in parts of Palm Beach;

– Improved connectivity between Palm Beach and the M1 via Nineteenth Ave;

– Improvements to the “Palm Beach Ave precinct” and Tugun Village to improve traffic flow.

The tram route heading into Tugun.
The tram route heading into Tugun.

Transport Minister Mark Bailey urged the community to have its say during the consultation, running until September 17.

“We are still very much in the early stages of considering what a future stage of light rail past Burleigh might look like,” he said.

“The fly-through video has been created to give Gold Coast residents a more realistic conception of how a future extension of light rail to Tugun could operate.

Transport Minister Mark Bailey. Picture: Tara Croser.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey. Picture: Tara Croser.

“For the next three months, the project team will be at seven locations across the southern Gold Coast to answer questions and provide face-to-face information to residents interested in learning more about the project.

Consultation on the Tugun to Coolangatta section will occur in early 2022, after completion of the multi-modal corridor study which the State Government is spending $1.5 million on.

The tram route at southern Palm Beach.
The tram route at southern Palm Beach.

It also jointly committed $5 million with the Gold Coast City Council on the business case for the stage 4 project.

The project has proved divisive on the southern Gold Coast, with vocal community groups up in arms at concerns it will create traffic congestion and lead to further development.

The Gold Coast Highway will be reduced to one lane in sections of Palm Beach.The Gold Coast Highway will be reduced to one lane in sections of Palm Beach.

Critics have called for the project to skip Palm Beach and go west before travelling down the heavy rail corridor, however this has consistently been rejected by transport experts, the council and the state government which have all uniformly backed a coastal route.

Gaven MP Meaghan Scanlon said the light rail, along with future heavy rail extensions, would create a critical link between the city’s major coastal hubs and key infrastructure including the airport and hospitals.

The new station at Burleigh Heads National Park near Tallebudgera Creek.
The new station at Burleigh Heads National Park near Tallebudgera Creek.

“Linking light rail to the airport – together with the M1 and heavy rail – means the Gold Coast will be better connected and less congested,” she said.

“We’ve seen people vote with their feet on light rail with more than 50 million trips taken on the existing system since it opened, and this extension will provide greater connectivity and accessibility for all Gold Coasters.”

It comes days after a council report revealed almost all visitors at the Gold Coast Airport leave by car due to the limited bus services and recommended the only way to improve public transport was a tram service.

Council officers referred to the airport as “pivotal to the local tourism industry and economic development on the Gold Coast” and note demand would increase significantly in the next 20 years.