Bus delivers night travel 'gold'

A growing call to address safety concerns for party goers on the Coolangatta-Tweed Heads border has been addressed with a new NightLink bus service starting this month

Bus delivers night travel 'gold'
Bus delivers night travel ‘gold’

November 2, 2010

Amidst growing concern that the Coolangatta-Tweed Heads border has become unsafe for weekend revellers, a new NightLink service starts next weekend, backed by local council, police and transport providers.

Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke says NightLink will provide a safe, convenient and reliable transport alternative for people enjoying a night in the city’s southern entertainment precinct.

The service will run hourly between 12.15am and 3.15am every Saturday and Sunday morning as well as public holidays.

There will be three collection points in Coolangatta and set-down in safe locations en-route to the Kingscliff terminus.

"This will mirror the successful Surfers Paradise NightLink and other similar services in Brisbane," Clarke says.

"Council has been working with local businesses and the community to find ways to improve access and safety for residents and visitors in our key entertainment precincts, and Coolangatta is one of these important hubs."

Clarke says NightLink, along with a secure cab rank, ensures patrons have safe options for getting home when venues close.

TransLink CEO Peter Strachan says Gold Coast City Council’s contribution to public transport –including $7.1 million in 2009-10 – was delivering more transport options for residents.

"Council should be congratulated for its continued support of public transport," Strachan says.

He says NightLink trains and buses in Brisbane carried more 15,000 people each month, which almost doubled during the Christmas-New Year period.

"I’m confident this success will be mirrored on the Gold Coast and Coolangatta as people become familiar with the new early morning routes," says Strachan.

"Buses on regular TransLink bus route 700 - from Australia Fair to Tweed Mall - operate 24 hours, seven days a week, adding another option for late night travel on the southern Gold Coast."

Divisional Councillor Chris Robbins says Coolangatta was a busy entertainment destination, particularly for young people from the southern Gold Coast and northern New South Wales.

"We want to encourage visitors to the precinct and ensure that access to safe public transport is available to assist them in getting home," Robbins says.

She says Coolangatta’s location north of the border meant public transport had been limited and getting home from a night out could be difficult – particularly for patrons living across the border in NSW.

"Patrons who can’t get home sometimes stay and continue to drink or remain in local parks, and this can be a contributor to anti-social behaviour and public nuisance," says Robbins.

"NightLink will help people find their way home safely at the end of a night out."

The Coolangatta service is funded by Gold Coast City Council, in partnership with TransLink and Surfside Buslines with backing from local police, businesses and community groups.

Services will commence on Saturday 13 November in time for the end school and start of the festive season.

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