Western Bypass to ease Gold Coast gridlock
HE'S older and wiser and more determined than ever to resurrect his idea to construct a Western Bypass to connect the Gold Coast and Tweed.
Banora Point resident George Beattie first launched his idea in 2004, forming a lobby group and gathering thousands of signatures from both sides of the border in support of his idea.
But the proposal fell on deaf ears in the halls of power and eventually petered out.
Since then, and despite the completion of the new Sexton Hill upgrade as well as the Tugun Bypass, road congestion has worsened, with the M1 on the Gold Coast at gridlock most days.
A former pilot, Mr Beattie first came up with the idea while flying above the Tweed and Gold Coast with his business the Tweed River Seaplane Service.
The view from above makes the solution seem obvious: a 20km bypass almost in a straight line from around the Varsity Lakes-Burleigh Heads area on the Gold Coast through sparsely populated areas, to connect to the Pacific Hwy south of Chinderah.
The bypass would cross the Tweed River near Stotts Island, run through the Terranora quarry and pass west of Bilambil, Cobaki, Pigabeen and Tallebudgera.
"There was no Google Earth then," Mr Beattie said.
"You really had to be up in the air to understand just how short this is."
Mr Beattie said time was running out for the bypass, with urban sprawl on both sides of the border moving westwards towards his proposed corridor.
"Development has finally caught up to this corridor, but once it is gone, it's gone," he said.
"I think it could be done with minimal houses removed - probably less than 10.
"What is the alternative? To just build some extra lanes along the Gold Coast Highway? People are pouring down from Brisbane at the weekend, it's gridlock half of the time.
"This is the only missing link in the highway from Ballina to Brisbane and eventually Sydney."
Mr Beattie said with the road falling split almost 50:50 between NSW and Queensland, the cost should be shared between the two governments, or borne by a private consortium to form a toll road.
"Hopefully the present crop of sitting and aspiring politicians may have the courage and vision to take this forward," he said.
"We need someone with the courage to fast track this Western Bypass and reserve this corridor before it is too late and will be lost forever."