A new Federally funded access road between Scholar’s Drive and Columbia Street will reduce the daily gridlock for parents at Chancellor State College. The Scholars Drive Link Project, funded with a grant of $500,000 from the Morrison Government, will provide a one-way outlet for Scholar’s Drive, previously a cul-de-sac, allowing parents dropping off or picking up their children to continue seamlessly onto Columbia Street.
Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace said that the grant, part of the Morrison Government’s $1.5 billion Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program, will support local jobs and boost the economy during COVID-19.
The one-way 3 meter wide driveway will only operate during school drop-off and pick up times and would otherwise be pedestrian only, with the road restricted by boom gates to reduce impact on local residents.
“I know that all parents at Chancellor State College are frustrated about how much time they lose every day on Scholar’s Drive, while the built-up traffic is very dangerous for students as they run the gauntlet of cars on the way to school. This project is going to improve safety and give the gift of time back to hard-working parents in Sippy Downs.” he said.
Initially designed in 2007, the Scholars Drive Link Project passes through state government owned land provided by the University of the Sunshine Coast, who have given their in principal support.
Queensland State Member for Buderim, Brent Mickelberg has been calling on the State Government to work with Sunshine Coast Council in addressing this critical issue since 2017.
“Every afternoon schools across the Sunshine Coast are choking with congestion and traffic around Chancellor State College is among the worst on the Coast. Something has to change. I know how the congestion around Chancellor State College has impacted local families, which is why fixing the Scholars Drive mess is something that I’ve been working on since before I was elected,” Mr Mickelberg said.
“Despite my continued requests for the Labor State Government to work with Sunshine Coast Council to improve traffic issues around Chancellor State College, the Labor State Government refuse to help. That’s why it’s great to see my LNP Federal Government colleagues stepping up to provide funding to deliver these important works.
“Cr Dickson, Andrew Wallace and I will continue to fight for the Sippy Downs community.”
Construction on the project will begin in the coming months and Sunshine Coast Council is committed to completing the work by December 2021.
Divisional Councillor Christian Dickson said he had received numerous concerns from residents and parents about congestion and was pleased a solution was in sight.
“High vehicle and pedestrian volumes generated by the 1130-student school results in lengthy delays during peak pick up and drop off times,” Cr Dickson said.
“This congestion not only affects Scholars Drive, it also impacts adjacent roads such as University Way, local business car parking and has been a long-standing issue within the Sippy Downs community.
“I’m pleased to update the community that your feedback has been taken on board to develop and consider a range of options to ease concerns.
“Sunshine Coast Council is working alongside the University of the Sunshine Coast, local school community, the Federal and State Governments to provide an alternative link to ease congestion.
“Council will construct a one-way link which involves a new access from Scholars Drive to the roundabout at the intersection of Columbia Street and Varsity view Court, Sippy Downs. The project reflects the “Jade Link” concept which has been widely discussed for as long as I can remember.
“This new transport link will improve traffic efficiency around the school precinct during peak periods and was selected as the best option by the Safe Schools Committee at Chancellor State College.
“I am very thankful to the Federal Government, particularly Andrew Wallace MP, and the University of the Sunshine Coast for helping bring solutions to this ongoing issue in our community”.
Almost 5,000 projects have already been nominated under the Local Road and Community Infrastructure program with around $450 million paid to councils across Australia. This fund has already contributed to more than a dozen projects in the Sunshine Coast electorate of Fisher.
In May 2020, the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government also pre-paid $1.3 billion of this year’s Financial Assistance Grant to provide untied funding for all local councils across Australia to spend on local priorities.