Coach operators take to new WA scenic road

WA coach and tour operators have a new stretch of west coast road to ‘play with’ following the opening of the 56 km Indian Ocean Drive north of Perth recently

Coach operators take to new WA scenic road
Coach operators take to new WA scenic road

By David Goeldner | October 20, 2010

Coach and tour operators are taking advantage of the recent opening of a stretch of coastal road about 90 minutes north of Perth, linking two previously ‘sleepy’ holiday and fishing villages, which could lead to new tourism opportunities in the region.

The 56km sealed stretch of scenic road – the ‘Indian Ocean Drive’ – between villages Lancelin and Cervantes links the two points for the first time, also giving the area passing traffic.

Both points were previously accessed off WA’s main northern Brand Highway, but with the opening of the new road, 30 minutes will be lopped off the travel time to get from Lancelin to Cervantes.

"The construction of this impressive 56km high-standard road, linking Lancelin to Cervantes, provides a safer, shorter route for tourists and other light vehicle road users, away from the heavy freight traffic on Brand Highway," WA Premier Colin Barnett said at the opening in September.

"It will significantly enhance business, tourism and economic opportunities for the central coast region, one of the most popular destinations for West Australians as well as interstate and overseas visitors," Barnett says.

WA Transport Minister Simon O’Brien says the project was the first major road to be built under the state’s Main Roads direct management for more than 10 years.

The state-funded ‘Indian Ocean Drive’ project cost $95million, and completed nine months ahead of schedule and under budget.

O’Brien says the Lancelin-Cervantes project’s features would open up the surrounding area for future development opportunities.

He says these features included 20 kms of side roads and several connection points, improvement works to nine kilometres of Pinnacles Drive, parking bays at prominent tourist locations, a passing lane, and multiple overtaking opportunities.

"We have been very fortunate from the beginning that the project has received overwhelming community support.

Greyhound Australia is among the first to adapt the new road, including it on its Perth to Broome service.

"This is great news for tourists as it has been difficult in the past for them to visit some of these coastal towns due to the lack of a regular bus service," Greyhound Australia CEO Rob Thomas says.

"Our service will use the new route providing passengers with the option to stop at a number of destinations along the ocean drive including Joondalup, Jurien Bay, Dongara, Lancelin, Leeman and Geraldton," says Thomas.

Greyhound has signed YHA Lancelin Lodge as the company’s local ticketing agency on the Indian Ocean Drive.

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