Noosa to test drive new ways of getting around this Christmas

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Council will road test a wide range of traffic and transport initiatives to make it easier for locals and visitors to get around Noosa this Christmas. The initiatives include Council’s popular Free Holiday Buses, which will run for the entire Queensland school holidays.

Noosa Council will road test a wide range of traffic and transport initiatives to make it easier for locals and visitors to get around Noosa this Christmas.

Parking information displayed on video screens, a ride-share app for Hastings Street workers, more free bus services and traffic control staff are just some of the tools Council will test drive, in partnership with the community, across December and January.

Recent traffic and parking studies have informed the trials, which are all geared toward the aims of Council’s Transport Strategy.

One of the trials features technology developed by Noosa’s 2018 GovHack Challenge team.

“Video screens along Walter Hay Drive, Cooroy-Noosa Road, Eumundi-Noosa Road, and David Low Way will use real-time parking and traffic information to direct drivers to where parking is currently available,” says Mayor Tony Wellington.

“To alleviate the traffic banking up as a result of people parallel parking at the start of Hastings Street, it is proposed to turn the first 8-16 bays into a temporary bicycle and scooter parking area. We are hoping to encourage more people to try two-wheeled transport to get to Hastings Street this Christmas.”

The trial has the support of Zero Emissions Noosa, the Hastings Street Association, Noosa Junction Traders Association, Tourism Noosa, Noosa Residents and Ratepayers Association and other stakeholders.

Council will also partner with Hastings Street businesses to trial a ride-share app.

“Workers in the Hastings Street precinct can use the new app to find people with which they can carpool. The app will match staff based on the times they start and finish work,” says the Mayor. “As an added incentive, we’ll provide a number of parking spaces specifically for ride-share drivers.”

The Mayor said Council’s Free Holiday Buses are also back this year, but they’ll run for the entire Queensland school holidays. “This includes a hinterland service, being route 632 to Cooran via Cooroy and Pomona. What’s more, Translink will also be conducting a special marketing campaign to promote the high frequency routes,” the Mayor said.

Paid parking at Noosa Heads Lions Park will also be extended this year, with 40% of the income going to the Tewantin-Noosa Lions Club and the rest being used to fund other transport initiatives.

Traffic control teams will be on hand to manage vehicle and pedestrian traffic at the intersection of Noosa Drive and Hastings Street. “The Christmas tree roundabout at Hastings Street is a major cause of congestion as pedestrians and vehicles compete with each other for priority. Having traffic controllers on site will help resolve this conflict,” the Mayor said. “Traffic controllers will also help move buses through the traffic to keep them running on time as a faster and easier travel option than taking the private car.”

All of the initiatives support Council’s Transport Strategy priorities. These include the use of new technology, park-and-ride services, plus better parking management and support of sustainable transport modes, such as bikes and scooters.

“This will be the first multi-modal approach to peak traffic congestion to be trialled in Noosa, and the results will help inform Council about future options. This isn’t the be-all and end-all of our traffic solutions, but rather an initial foray into what is a very complex problem. Council will continue to work with stakeholders to develop our big picture approach to transport for the shire,” said Mayor Wellington.

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