Ferry service to trial increased travel speed

A two-day trial of the city’s ferry service at increased speeds will be undertaken next week.

The City will trial a variety of speeds and monitor impacts from the ferry’s wake on surrounding structures and banks. The results of the trial will help inform an application for a speed limit exemption.

Mayor Tom Tate said an increase in ferry speed could result in more residents utilising the service for their daily work commute.

“Since commencing the trial service in December 2019, the Hopo ferries have carried almost 50,000 passengers,” said Mayor Tate.

“Locals and visitors are loving the service and using it throughout the week as well as on weekends.

“A faster travel time will appeal more to the commuter market, resulting in less cars on the road – and a safer and more sustainable city.

“We will continue to monitor the ferry service, and work with the operator and key stakeholders to try to ensure the ferry becomes a permanent transport option for the city.”

The speed limit exemption would apply to a section of the Nerang River running south from James Overall Park (approximately 300m south of Sundale Bridge) to Harry Bond Park (opposite the tip of Cronin Island).

The trial will be held on Thursday 11 and Friday 12 March, 2021.

The wash trial will start with the ferry travelling at six knots per hour and move up in intervals. The final maximum speed limit exemption requested for the ferry will be determined by the results of the wash trial.

Representatives from Maritime Safety Queensland, the Gold Coast Waterways Authority and the Queensland Water Police will be in attendance at the wash trial.

The City encourages residents to get involved and have their say on the proposed speed limit exemption with written submissions being accepted from 11 March to 16 April 2021 via email and mail.

Hopo operates nine hours a day, seven days a week, stopping at five locations between Surfers Paradise, Main Beach and Southport. The first daily service departs from Appel Park in Surfers Paradise at 9am.

The two-year ferry trial service forms part of the City’s transport plan to encourage residents and visitors to make sustainable travel choices.

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