Motorists warned of major traffic delays at border

 

MOTORISTS are being told to brace for possible delays after Queensland's borders re-opened last night to millions of people in NSW.

From 1am Tuesday the border zone with NSW was scrapped but 32 local government areas in greater Sydney remain COVID-19 hot spots.

Victoria is also still considered a COVID-19 hotspot.

In what is now the 17th change to border directions, people will be able to transfer through a hot spot by road as long as they stop only for essential supplies, fuel, or to manage driver fatigue.

Gold Coast Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler said if they do people must wear a protective mask and they are banned from staying overnight.

 

Police check cars at the Queensland border with NSW at Stuart Street in Coolangatta. / Steve Holland
Police check cars at the Queensland border with NSW at Stuart Street in Coolangatta. / Steve Holland

Supt Wheeler said people would also be able to fly into Queensland from Sydney airport and pass through Victoria from the Spirit of Tasmania, on the basis they leave immediately.

He said people would be heavily scrutinised as they come across the border.

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"We will want to see evidence from people (to establish) that they haven't been breaching those rules," Supt Wheeler said.

He urged people to be patient and prepared.

"In terms of volume, of course we expect to see more people coming into Queensland," he said. "At the moment there's a couple hundred thousand people in the border zone area … of course that will expand to probably over 3 million people from NSW.

"There's no reason to think it won't be the same (as it was in July), particularly this time of the year too. We would be expecting people to come up and holiday and of course there have been people who for months haven't been able to visit Queensland and see relatives and friends so we'd be expecting big volumes of traffic to come in.

 

 

Police check cars at the Queensland border with NSW at Stuart Street in Coolangatta one day before the border opens to NSW but not Sydney. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Steve Holland
Police check cars at the Queensland border with NSW at Stuart Street in Coolangatta one day before the border opens to NSW but not Sydney. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Steve Holland

"Some of those delays we saw back in July exceeded one hour over peak-delay periods so people have just got to plan.

"If you've got young children and you don't like being asked 'are we there yet' you might want to time your run, leave at late at night or early morning or give it a few days so that we can get some understanding of what this volume is going to look like."

 

Police check cars at the Queensland border with NSW at Griffith Street in Coolangatta. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Steve Holland
Police check cars at the Queensland border with NSW at Griffith Street in Coolangatta. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Steve Holland

He said the police response would remain the same but would be monitored in the coming days.

"We know back in July when we opened up to NSW there were increased delays, there was inconvenience, but unfortunately this is the law of numbers.

"We have more people wanting to come in, greater volumes of traffic. We still have to filter those two lanes into one and that's to scrutinise the vehicles, scrutinise the people in them."

From Tuesday, the G-Pass will take effect, but anyone with a current X-pass will still be able to travel across the border.

Originally published as Motorists warned of major traffic delays at border


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