RACQ joins locals’ calls for focus on M1 exits

With money already being pumped into major and much-needed M1 upgrades, Gold Coast City councillors have called on the State Government to give the same attention to some of the road’s most congestion-plagued exits which prevented drivers from travelling across the region.

The Gold Coast Bulletin revealed a new Gold Coast Council report showed some traffic issues on the M1 were caused by motorists driving across interchange bridges. At Exit 45, the majority of motorists were crossing the overhead bridge, to get their children to schools in Ormeau and Pimpama.

RACQ Head of Public Policy Rebecca Michael said while much of the focus was on the big M1 projects at Eight Mile Plains and between Varsity Lakes and Tugun, there were other interchanges which needed urgent attention to keep traffic moving.

“While there is a need to deliver the big upgrades on the southern Gold Coast and at Logan to get the M1 moving, there are a number of smaller changes required in the ‘middle’ section with Exits 45 and 49 being particularly problematic spots,” Dr Michael said.

“The M1 is a barrier to east-west connectivity and these interchanges need to provide capacity for the safe and efficient operation of the M1 and to give drivers a chance of moving across the region.

“Additional north-south corridors to the east Coomera Connector and west of the M1 are required and is something we’ve previously raised when discussing transport planning on the Gold Coast. These will reduce pressure on the M1 and interchanges by keeping local trips off the motorway.”

It was also reported that council did not have the money to improve a side road at Pimpama and the State Government would only roll out ramp metering which prompted a petition from more than 560 furious residents for a new north-south road west of the M1 in a “transmission corridor”.

Gold Coast Councillor Donna Gates said she would meet with Transport Minister Mark Bailey on Tuesday to find a quicker solution.

“We’ve gone way past the blame game,” Cr Gates said.

“It’s time our people sat down with the State and develop a plan. We most definitely need to fast track some of the work.

“I’m sick of the blame game. I want the engineers to get together, to work out a traffic plan.”

Transport and Roads Minister Mark Bailey was quoted saying he believed his meeting with Cr Gates will be “a fruitful one” and that the Government was keen to work with stakeholders.