Gold Coast firms get set for the Commonwealth Games

| February 5, 2018

The 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held on the Gold Coast from the 4th to the 15th of April and local firms are being encouraged to contact the Get Set for the Games website to prepare for the biggest event in Australia this decade.

70 Commonwealth nations and territories will take part in 11 days of competition, causing daily changes to the Gold Coasts’s road network to facilitate sporting events and the movements of athletes, team officials, 3,500 media and spectators.

More than one million ticketed spectators are expect to attend events in 18 sports, supported by 15,000 volunteers, with an additional seven sports in para-competitions. 1.5 billion people will see the games on TV, offering the region an unprecedented opportunity to promote itself to a global audience.

Team officials will begin to arrive on March 20th with athletes, media and other staff using the Games Village and training venues in the days leading up to the start of competition. It is expected that all participants and officials will have left by Wednesday April 18.

Affected Areas

There are 17 competition venues on the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Townsville and Cairns, and so businesses in all of them will be affected, although the games coincide with the Easter school holidays which should reduce rush hour traffic on the roads.

Venues include Broadbeach, the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, the Carrara Precinct, the Gold Coast Hockey Centre, the Coolangatta Beachfront, the Nerang Mountain Bike Trails, the Coomera Indoor Sports Centre, Oxenford Studios, the Currumbin Beachfront, Robina Stadium, the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, Southport Broadwater Parklands, and Belmont and Chandler in Brisbane.

Traffic Congestion

The Queen’s Baton Relay will travel across the country for 100 days before arriving at the Opening Ceremony on 4 April. Large crowds are expected to view the relay as it passes through populated areas and the convoy of police and accredited vehicles escorting the Baton and runners will bring temporary traffic changes and parking restrictions along the route for various periods.

While hotels, restaurants and other service companies anticipate a bonanza as competitors, officials and media converge from all over the world, local firms which rely on freight and deliveries or have a large number of staff and customers may need to work around the fortnight’s congestion. Firms based near a sporting venue, road event, celebration zone or the Games Route Network may have to amend their hours or travel arrangements to keep their business moving.

Traffic around the airport, railway stations and the Athlete Village will be particularly high, and event venues will be congested on the day of competition.

There will also be a number of arts and cultural activities across the city which will further increase transport demand. A mix of theatrical productions, concerts, dance events and art exhibitions should increase foot traffic where they are held and create the need for additional services.

The Games Route Network

Transport changes will include road closures, venue construction, changed traffic conditions, parking restrictions, changes to freight operations and the disruption caused events held on the road. A Games Route Network will be in force, including Games Lanes, comprising a series of designated roads linking the Commonwealth Games Village to all competition and non-competition venues and airports.

The roads on the GRN will generally be available for use by all traffic but they will be busier than usual depending on the events in the area. Special Games Lanes will be in operation at certain times to create dedicated traffic lanes reserved for public transport, official GC2018 vehicles and emergency services.

Planning for Disruption

Companies are encouraged to research the Games’ schedule to identify possible problems and create and test their ‘Games Travel Action Plan’ in good time, to allow time for adjustments before the Games begin. Firms should collect travel data to understand the needs of their staff, suppliers and customers and consider alternative travel solutions where required.

Companies should plan using the ’4 Rs’ of reducing, retiming, rerouting and remoding their transport to minimise inconvenience to themselves and other transport users. Firms should then communicate their revised arrangements to staff, suppliers, customers and visitors as required.

By reducing travel during the games, re-timing journeys outside peak hours, re-routing around potential choke points and ‘re-moding’ by choosing alternatives to the car such public transport, walking and cycling then delays can be reduced or eliminated.

Staff could be reassigned to alternative offices or allowed to work from home using conference calls or internet links, or given more facilities to shower after a bike trip. Flexible working hours could be introduced to avoid peak hours, and meetings or deliveries resheduled where possible.

As well as online support for companies, free workshops will be held to inform firms about temporary changes to the transport network and strategies to mitigate their effects. Companies which depend on the transport of goods, have a large number of staff or customers who drive to their location or are situated near Games facilities, Festival hubs, road events or major transport links are specifically encouraged to attend. Firms can call 800 531 585 to join the nearest session to them.

Freight Operators

Businesses which receive or make deliveries as a core part of their trade may be disproportionately affected by the games. As freight transport on the Gold Coast relies almost entirely on the road network, managing the movement of freight and deliveries will require specific attention. and a number of temporary transport changes before and during the games may require freight operators of all sizes to consider changing delivery routes, times and drop off locations.

Freight operators will have to factor future road closures and diversions, loading zone changes, permit access only areas, restrictions on the movement of dangerous goods, lower speed limits and changes to the classification of vehicles permitted on certain routes.

Freight operators should look to reshedule deliveries outside peak hours, encourage customers to pre-order and stockpile their goods or work with them to arrange alternative delivery locations and arrangements.

Local Access Permits

Some areas near venues will have restricted vehicle access in the lead up to and during the games and residents, accommodation providers and businesses within these restricted access areas will have to apply for a free local access permit to permit access through Vehicle Permit Checkpoints.

Temporary road changes during the Games will also include localised road closures, diversions and the removal of on-street parking in some areas. Access and parking permits will be required for some businesses near event venues.

Increased Demand

Firms are encouraged to ensure their premises look their best to help showcase themselves and their region to the world. Extra staff may be required in consumer facing businesses, additional or alternative opening hours may be required and food standards will be strictly enforced for vendors serving the public.

Marketing

While the Commonwealth Games will promote the Gold Coast to the world, companies are warned against using Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games branding if they are not an official sponsor or partner.

Public Spaces

Firms which use public spaces for their activities should note that many open spaces will be used during the games for a range of purposes. There will also be temporary changes to tlocal waterways including the introduction of Protective Security Zones where Police will be able to apply additional power and access changes for businesses that operate at waterside locations.

Waste Services

To accommodate changes in traffic conditions, bin collection times and days may also change. On average they will be earlier than usual before and during the Games.

Fire Safety

One of the most important obligations of business owners and accommodation providers is to ensure that visitors, staff and occupants are safe in the event of an emergency. Businesses and hospitality venues must ensure that all fire safety features, including exit pathways and exit doors, in every building are compliant and maintained. Fire and evacuation plans should be reviewed to ensure the Games do not affect designated assembly areas.

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