The Queensland Rail-owned land between Elm St and the railway in Cooroy.
The Queensland Rail-owned land between Elm St and the railway in Cooroy. Alan Lander

Idea for transit centre in Cooroy

COOROY developer Ron McCarthy has applied some lateral thinking to solving the town's ongoing traffic management problems and says his idea of a transit centre on railway land on Elm St's western edge is garnering interest.

The community appears split down the middle on whether to install traffic lights at two major intersections - at Diamond/Elm and Myall/Elm streets - in an echo of the town being equally split by its mainline railway and station.

But the issue has also opened up debate about overall management planning for Cooroy's centre, particularly on the eastern side of the railway, and about longer-term plans for future traffic management.

With rapid population growth in the Cooroy area and short-term fixes such as traffic lights or roundabouts, it may not be too many years away when the through traffic heading for the coastal area will need to be diverted via a town bypass.

Mr McCarthy, who has a development application before Noosa Council to build shops and units on the old Cooroy Motel site, has been taking a close look at its surroundings.

He also supports traffic lights at the Elm/Diamond intersection as a short-term safety fix, but he is focused on the town's longer-term needs and for planning to be part of an overall strategy.

Mr McCarthy said a proposal to shift the entry into Cooroy railway station opened up other possibilities.

"Transport and Main Roads' current proposal allows for a new rail station entrance to be created from the railway yard to DiamondSt, about halfway along,” he said.

"There is also a planning application before council that will require the relocation of the bus shelter on the east side 10m along Diamond St.

"The best place for both of the bus shelters is to relocate them from DiamondSt and to place them inside the railway yard to create a new transit centre for Cooroy.”

Mr McCarthy said buses could have a buses-only exit through the existing passage, and such a transit centre could be established at minimal cost and cater for TransLink buses, school buses, tourism transfer mini-buses, and a taxi rank could be established.

"This currently unused area could also accommodate transit caravans and provide parking for large vehicles,” he said.

"This precinct would then provide easy access via the walkover bridge for passing visitors to access the western retail side of town.”

He said a new and needed toilet block could be added, given there were none on the eastern side of the town.

"The big winner in such a proposal would be the citizens of Cooroy in terms of increased pedestrian safety and decreased traffic congestion currently caused by bus stops,” Mr McCarthy said.

He said he had already met with Noosa MP Sandy Bolton who, while not having Cooroy in her state seat, had lengthy dealings with Cooroy in her former role as councillor.

Mr McCarthy said he would also be meeting with Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington today.

Meanwhile, others have commented that, with all the properties around the MyallSt bridge owned by state entities, any new roundabout proposal would not require resumption of private property.

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