ALL ABOARD: The super-busy Noosa Parade bus stop.
ALL ABOARD: The super-busy Noosa Parade bus stop. Peter Gardiner

Funds return may be the better value.

IT GOES against all Councillor Frank Pardon's financial instincts, but he may agree to forfeit $110,000 in cycleway state funding at Noosa Parade to come up with a smarter transport solution that tackles the roadway's infamous bus stop congestion.

Noosa Council is being asked by staff to forego a planned $300,000 bikeway upgrade on the Hastings St side of the parade in order to come up with a master plan.

And if Mayor Noel Playford's talks with Sunbus parent company, the Transit Australia Group and transport authority Translink come to fruition, part of the solution may be free, smaller, Noosa-style electric buses that run all year round.

Councillors last week were told that on average 140,000 people were using the Noosa Pd bus stop despite the advent of the Noosa Junction transit centre.

Council has until June this year to commit putting up its $190,000 share of the path construction, or the state funding will be lost. But there are already concerns within staff about how the works will impact on such a high use area that forms the finish line of the Noosa Triathlon.

Cr Pardon said: "To give back 100 to 110 grand - I'd hate to do that."

But he said he always preferred to look at "the big picture" and the mayor was now talking about the "coconut buses" - the Noosa- style buses that had been talked about for years with surfboards and bike racks.

The mayor said these electric buses "could just introduce a huge change" that might require a different set-up. "You'd probably have more people using the bus I think," he said. "You'd need to accommodate more people because I think there'll be a hell of a lot more people using the buses, particularly if they're free. And you might want something entirely different here. Don't be frightened about handing something (like $110,000) back."

Council will vote on the motion this Thursday.


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