Commonwealth Games Travel Impacts

Organisers of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games want to ensure Queensland families, schools and vacation and early childhood services have the information they need to prepare and plan for the potential travel impacts associated with the event.

The games will run from 4-15 April on the Gold Coast, with Brisbane, Cairns and Townsville also hosting events. Impacts are expected to commence from as early as 1 March when reduced speed limits take effect on the M1. There will also be changes to the Citytrain network ahead of the games and in the following week.

Could you be impacted?

Businesses, schools, early childhood and vacation care services will be impacted in different ways depending on their proximity to the Gold Coast and other games venues and their use of the M1 highway.

Step 1: Check whether your workplace, school, early childhood or vacation care service could be impacted by reviewing the event timetabling, road impacts, closures and public transport changes for the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Townsville and Cairns on the Get Set For the Games website.

Step 2: Consider how you and your family could be impacted and develop a plan.

Your workplace, school or service could be located near games venues or close to event routes.

You may need to travel into or out of the Gold Coast for work, school, vacation care or child care.

Do you have children who attend a boarding school on the Gold Coast or Brisbane? Airports will be very busy at the start and end of the Easter school holidays as will their transport corridors.

Have you considered the following?

  • What if traffic prevents you from getting to your school/early childhood/vacation care service to pick up your child? Have you spoken with your service about what back up plans/supervision they will have in place?
  • Think about car pooling to get to work or asking your employer if you can work from home during the games period.
  • Have you looked into the impacts on school buses and other transport services, particularly on Monday 16 April when buses are returning to all areas of the state after the completion of the games?

Games journey planner

The GC2018 Journey Planner is available on the Get Set for the Games website. The interactive map provides the projected transport congestion expected at games time, while the GC2018 Journey Planner can help people plan their best travel modes and routes. The GC2018 app is also available for download.

Impacts & timeframes

BATON RELAY TRAVEL IMPACTS:  This relay is the longest continual promotion of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, travelling through 60+ countries over 388 days in the lead up to the event. The Baton started its journey through Queensland on 3 March and finishes at the Gold Coast on 1 April.

For complete information about the relay route, and travel and transport impacts, click here. Families can consult the Travel Impacts Map to understand where and when transport and travel will be interrupted by the the relay.

M1 IMPACTS: From 1 March 2018, the M1 will introduce a reduced speed limit to improve the flow of traffic during the games. You will need to factor this in to your travel arrangements.

GOLD COAST:  The Games village opens for officials and team managers on 10 March. Organisers expect athletes to begin arriving from 25 March. Parents and teachers travelling to and from school near the village must consider their travel plans.

Games organisers expect other impacts, including local traffic delays on the Gold Coast, to commence from Weeks 9 and 10 in Term 1 and extend through the holidays into Week 1 of Term 2 when more than 6,600 athletes and team officials as well as media and spectators leave the region.

GOLD COAST GAMES ROUT NETWORK: The Games Rout Network will be implemented in stages from mid to late March to 18 April. This extended timeframe before, during and after the Games will:

  • enable road user to become familiar with the changes and the gradual increasing demand as athletes, officials and visitors start to arrive before GC2018 commences on 4 April
  • continue until after the Closing Ceremony on 15 April and the departure of athletes, officials and visitors in the days after that.

ALL REGIONS: Monday 16 April is expected to be very busy as people travel to local airports including Brisbane, Coolangatta and the Sunshine Coast after the games finish. The M1 and Gateway Motorway are expected to be impacted in both directions.

The Queensland Government has designated 16 April as a pupil free day in state schools to allow school buses used during the games to return to regional areas. The Minister released a media statement on the issue last year. Check with your school if they have also made this a pupil free day.

CITY TRAIN NETWORK: During the games, there will be changes to the Citytrain network timetable from 30 March – 20 April, including the school holidays and Week 1, Term 3.

Parents are being urged to review the information and to plan their journeys in advance, especially when returning to school in Term 2.

PARK ‘N’ RIDES: The Department of Transport and Main Roads has prepared a range of information in regards to Park ‘n’ Rides. If you live or work in these areas, these may help in your understanding of the impacts and planning.