RACQ backs calls for greater investment to fix nightmare M1

The State’s peak motoring body has welcomed calls for greater cooperation and investment from all levels of government to reduce traffic gridlock on the Gold Coast’s major arterial, the M1.

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It comes as exasperated local councillors pushed for a transport briefing with MPs in a bid to fix the troubled road network, calling for sections of the M1 south of Robina to be upgraded immediately.

The Gold Coast Bulletin reported the meeting was flagged during the first session of the city’s new Transport and Infrastructure committee and followed news almost 85 percent of the Coast’s residents relied on their vehicles.

RACQ’s Head of Public Policy Rebecca Michael said investment and cooperation from all levels of government was sorely needed to address the gridlock.

“We’ve been calling for more investment on this notorious stretch of road, as well better public transport in the region, for years,” Dr Michael said.

“Additional lanes and interchange upgrades were a key transport priority for RACQ before the recent State election.

“We commend the Queensland Government for committing to $206 million to address the M1 issues to Tugun, but we’re now calling on the Federal Government to provide its commitment to this critical infrastructure upgrade.”

Dr Michael said the Gold Coast was a major growth area for Queensland, which needed attention and investment to ensure it was future-proofed.

“We need to be able to keep up with the demand for road and transport infrastructure, which is growing exponentially,” she said.

“We welcome this discussion and any conversation which brings this issue back to the table.”

Council Director of Transport and Infrastructure Alton Twine said he empathised with councillors’ frustrations, but explained bridge supports needed to be moved, and infrastructure services removed, to allow for the widening of the M1.

Robina-based Councillor Hermann Vorster warned against council taking a lead role in redesigning the highway, and instead called for more lobbying of governments.

“As far as the M1 is concerned, it’s political poison, and if we’re involved ourselves in the design of the M1, then council will carry the burden of the upgrade when, quite plainly, that burden should fall on the other levels of government,” he said.

“The issue I think is we’ve had band aid solutions on the M1, rather than the substantial investment that’s warranted.”