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Roads Australia Insider - November 1, 2019


Gold Coast growth sets southern focus for Coomera Connector Stage 1

Construction of a major new road east of the M1 between Coomera and Nerang will be prioritised to take pressure off the highway and support growing north Gold Coast communities.

The Queensland Government has announced it will start consultation next month on its plans for stage one of the Coomera Connector, also known as the ‘second M1’.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says traffic data and population projections present a compelling case for staging the project, starting at the Gold Coast end of the major M1 alternative.

“Traffic counts done earlier this year showed 210,000 vehicles travel on the M1 between Coomera and Nerang every day,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Current TMR estimates tell us constructing the southern section as stage one would take up to 60,000 vehicles a day off the M1 at the Coomera River.”

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said prioritising the Gold Coast section meant the focus would come off the northern section of the Coomera Connector between Loganholme and Coomera.

“Staging the works will give the project team more time to investigate potential alternative routes for the northern section, to take into account local environmental concerns,” he said.

“TMR will also work with the community, the Queensland Government’s Koala Advisory Council, other volunteer groups and government environmental agencies to develop a Coomera Connector environmental management plan.

The 45-kilometre Coomera Connector corridor between Loganholme and Nerang was formally confirmed in the Queensland Government Gazette on 15 March 2019.

The prioritised southern section will run from Nerang Broadbeach Road at Nerang, to Foxwell Road at Coomera. 

RACQ drives next generation vehicle testing 

RACQ has unveiled plans to make Brisbane home to the premier vehicle research, testing and training facility in the southern hemisphere.

The RACQ Mobility Centre of Excellence (MCE) at Mount Cotton was officially opened on Wednesday, with the site set to welcome vehicle manufacturers to conduct Queensland-based testing of connected and autonomous technology under real conditions.

RACQ Head of Public Policy Rebecca Michael said the Club’s purchase of the facility from the Queensland Government, and investment of a further $15 million for its development, was emblematic of RACQ’s 115-year commitment to mobility and road safety.  

“Keeping pace with the rate of disruption in the transport sector is an enormous challenge," she said.

"The MCE will allow industry, universities and research organisations to explore together how evolving technology can be safely introduced on Australian roads.

“We’ll be able to replicate real-word environments like city intersections, highways and rural towns, allowing connected and autonomous technology to be tested in local conditions.” 

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said it was an exciting step for Queenslanders, who would now have world class facilities right at their doorstep. 

“Major changes are on the horizon in terms of how we travel and how we plan and build roads and other transport infrastructure that connect our communities,” Mr Bailey said.

“Our government rolled out Australia’s first state-wide network of electric vehicle charging stations and earlier this year started trialling autonomous vehicles on Queensland roads.

“Some of those tests have been performed at the Mount Cotton facility.

“It’s the perfect location to test and assess advanced vehicle technologies away from public roads.”

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