Sport Other Sports Commonwealth Games: Thousands waiting for buses to opening ceremony

Commonwealth Games: Thousands waiting for buses to opening ceremony

commonwealth games opening ceremony shuttle buses
The long wait for buses to Carrara Stadium continued after dark. Photo: ABC
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Thousands of people were left stranded for more than 90 minutes waiting for shuttle buses to the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

Punters arrived at the Broadbeach bus stop on Wednesday afternoon to attend the ceremony at Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast.

It’s understood that buses had finally cleared the backlog of people by about 6.50pm, but more delays were expected at the stadium for security checks and then a search for seating.

Jenny Hurley said she was stuck for more than 90 minutes, after arriving at the bus stop at 4.45pm before the 8pm ceremony.

Ms Hurley said buses had been “few and far between” since she arrived at the bus stop.

“We’re just on a bus now — still a couple of hundred in queue,” she told ABC News at 6.20pm.

“[I’m] worried about getting home.”

She said the bus ride to the opening ceremony was quiet.

“People are relieved but upset that they might miss the start,” she said.

Ms Hurley said she eventually made it inside the stadium by about 7pm.

Alice Greenup, who was also waiting at Broadbeach, said being in the crowd was “like sardines”.

She said with hour-long security checks, there was no way many of the commuters would make the ceremony on time.

“[Commonwealth Games chairman] Peter Beattie has had two years to organise buses and he has booked three buses for 5000+ people who are now stranded,” she wrote on Twitter.

opening ceremony commonwealth games
People stuck at Broadbeach, waiting for buses to Carrara Stadium for the opening ceremony. Photo: Twitter / Jenny R Hurley

Ms Greenup said people paid close to $400 each for a ticket to the ceremony and the frustrated crowd was “getting wild” as they waited for buses to arrive.

LNP Shadow Transport Minister Steve Minnikin lashed the state government over the delays.

“This is so disappointing and I feel for all those people stranded whose Opening Ceremony experience has been ruined,” he said in a statement on Wednesday night.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk should have spent less time focusing on her ego and speeches and more time putting together an essential transport plan.”

Mr Beattie on Tuesday said Games transport continued to be his greatest concern.

Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said high-frequency public transport timetables were being rolled out across the Gold Coast during the Games.

“G:Link services began 24/7 operations on Sunday while trains on the Gold Coast line will begin 24 hour service on Thursday with trains set to run on average every 10 minutes or better,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

“We’ll also run extra special event train services to support the Opening and Closing Ceremonies on 4 and 15 April.”

He said the higher frequency services across all public transport and shuttles would “provide a seamless end-to-end journey for all commuters”.

Mr Bailey said the best way to plan travel was via the GC2018 Journey Planner and app.

-with AAP

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