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New light rail route will be a winner
THE revised route for the Gold Coast light rail is a victory for long-term thinking, which we do not see often enough.
The re-routing of the track along Surfers Paradise Boulevard (as opposed to the previous Ferny Avenue proposal) will see that street turned into a one-way street southbound and businesses in the area are excited at the prospect of a steady stream of trams delivering new customers into the area.
With Surfers Paradise Boulevard carrying an estimated 7000 vehicles a day compared to the 40,000 using Ferny Avenue, the move makes perfect sense and will result in a minimal impact on traffic flows.
It is estimated the new route will also increase patronage by up to 4 per cent and save the Government $15 million -- a pleasant windfall for a change.
And change is something that our favourite seaside suburb has to embrace. The light rail will create new ways of getting about our city. It will link the huge student, staff and visitor population of the Griffith University and new University Hospital to the retail and entertainment precincts of Surfers and Broadbeach.
For the sceptics who doubt that the rapid transit system will make any difference to Surfers, we say look forward a few years.
By then the Soul and Hilton buildings will be complete, as will the foreshore project. Then the light rail system will hopefully deliver a whole new clientele in and out of the area quicker, safer and cheaper.
These four projects all falling into place will be crucial -- but to really add impetus to the rejuvenation it needs the civil and commercial leaders of Surfers Paradise to add even greater intensity to their efforts to beautify and make more inviting the engine room of our city.
We cannot think of a better motivation for that effort than the arrival of the trams. Unfortunately whenever large projects such as this are created there are some who will lose out and we sympathise with the owners of the few properties that need to be resumed.
They should be appropriately compensated. In these cases the concept of the greater good for the greater number triumphs.