A park­ing mad idea

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - PAUL WE­STON paul.we­ston@news.com.au

PARK and ride fa­cil­i­ties re­stricted for Com­mon­wealth Games fans have been left half empty be­cause mo­torists fear be­ing late back from events and find­ing their cars towed away.

The Get Set for The Games web­site warns ticket hold­ers they have to catch a re­turn shut­tle bus within 60 min­utes of the end of their com­pe­ti­tion ses­sion, oth­er­wise they risk their car be­ing re­moved and hav­ing to pay the cost.

Work­ers who nor­mally use the park’n’ride op­po­site the Park­wood tram sta­tion, drop­ping off their cars to com­mute by light rail, are fu­ri­ous they have been forced to park in nearby streets.

Res­i­dents liv­ing along nar­row roads like Greenacre Drive fear an ac­ci­dent could re­sult, re­port­ing sev­eral near head-on col­li­sions since the in­tro­duc­tion of Com­mon­wealth Games re­stric­tions.

Bon­ney MP Sam O’Con­nor told the Bul­letin: “Clos­ing the Park­wood car park has been a huge an­noy­ance for lo­cals.

“It’s been great for those trav­el­ling to events but even then it’s only for a se­lect few. We’ve all been frus­trated driv­ing past and see­ing it barely used.”

Mr O’Con­nor yes­ter­day called on Main Roads Min­is­ter Mark Bai­ley to open up the car park for all users be­fore the Games fin­ish.

But the gov­ern­ment main­tains it is stag­ing a world class event and open­ing up the car parks would stop tick­eted fans from get­ting parks and pub­lic trans­port to venues on time.

“It’s caused chaos along Greenacre Drive and I don’t want lo­cal res­i­dents to have to suf­fer un­til April 17 (when it’s due to be re­opened),” Mr O’Con­nor said.

Res­i­dents on Mr O’Con­nor’s Face­book page said non-ticket hold­ers were boy­cotting free events at He­lensvale, Surfers Par­adise and Broad­beach due to the lack of park­ing.

“Ticket hold­ers who get to park free in the park ‘n’ rides have to re­turn to the ve­hi­cle within 60 min­utes of their event fin­ish­ing,” a res­i­dent said.

“They just have to go home as there is nowhere else to park. Drive past the Park­wood sta­tion daily, never more than half full, if that. Drove past the park’n’ride on Mil­la­roo Drive, He­lensvale, to­day and it was less than a quar­ter full at 11am.”

The Get Set for The Games web­site ad­vises ticket hold­ers “you are re­quired to catch a re­turn shut­tle bus within 60 min­utes of the end of your com­pe­ti­tion ses­sion”.

“Ve­hi­cles left af­ter this time – plus shut­tle bus travel time – will be towed at owner’s ex­pense.”

But park­ing sources said fans in re­al­ity had un­til mid­night to re­move their ve­hi­cles, and any tow­ing did not oc­cur un­til 6am the fol­low­ing day.

The large num­ber of va­cant spots at Park­wood Park'n'ride have an­gered non Games ticket hold­ers and nearby res­i­dents.

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