M1 congestion a tourism killer

The Gold Coast tourism industry has warned congestion on the M1 would lead to a tourist downturn if nothing was done to fix it – a view echoed by the State’s peak motoring body.

The Gold Coast Bulletin reported Destination Gold Coast rated upgrading the busy highway as its number one priority – with tourists being turned off by congestion the consequence of doing nothing.

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RACQ spokesperson Paul Turner said the Club had called for upgrades for years and recent announcements by the State and Federal Governments had been positive news for motorists.

“It’s so important we see all levels of government working to fix the M1,” Mr Turner said.

“We forget congestion doesn’t just affect commuters, it gives visitors to the Gold Coast a lousy experience.

“The recently announced M1 upgrades between Varsity Lakes and Tugun and between Eight Mile Plains and Daisy Hill are welcome and will reduce the amount of time drivers spend in traffic.

“The Gold Coast’s $5 billion tourism industry is too important to be put at risk by traffic gridlock.”

RELATED: M1 upgrade a huge win for drivers: RACQ

Destination Gold Coast chairman Paul Donovan said it was important for the Gold Coast to be more accessible.

“The most important thing in regard to tourism is the M1. That is enabling people who want to get here now to get here easily when our biggest market is south east Queensland” Mr Donovan said.

“This is our biggest risk. People will still come but there is so much discussion about the M1 that it may turn people off — so that is big.”