LOCAL commuters and city office workers are set to benefit from a new Park and Ride public transport hub to be constructed at the Council-owned Collett St car park, following a $744,000 State Government grant announced this week.
The Morisset St school bus interchange will also be moved to the new Collett St hub, however Mayor Tim Overall said that decision was not related to a new Dan Murphy's liquor store set to open across the road from the current interchange location.
Cr Overall said the transport venture predated the incoming Dan Murphy's by two years, and would prove both a safer location for students and less disruptive for city workers.
"Council is of the view that the school bus interchange, while it might have been appropriate 10 years ago, it's certainly outgrown its current location.
"It's congested, there are road safety issues there, it requires regular monitoring and with the grace of the Queanbeyan's population it's necessary to construct a new school bus interchange and park and ride facility," he said.
The new transport hub will go before councillors as an information report at next week's ordinary meeting of Council. It would include public toilets, lock-up bicycle storage, a taxi rank, CCTV monitoring, seating and lighting as well as room for up to 10 buses. Construction could be finished as soon as December, Cr Overall said.
The current school interchange sits just outside offices at Morisset House, and staff there have welcomed the relocation. Campbell Page employee, Rebecca Young, said the busy before and after school times had been noisy and distracting for office staff.
"We're on the ground floor and the entire outside of our office is all glass, so you can imagine when there's a group of kids coming past and banging their bags on the windows it can be fairly loud," Ms Young said.
"When you've got a client sitting in front of you or you're on the phone it's not a great look."
Meanwhile Queanbeyan's latest chain store, Dan Murphy's will take up residence across the road on the corner of Morisset and Crawford streets at the current Bill Lilley Mitsubishi location.
Mr Lilley said he was not yet ready to discuss his future plans, but would prepare the site for its new tenants over the coming months.
A Woolworths spokesperson said the approximately 1400 square-metre liquor store would include entrance/exit points on both Morisset and Crawford streets and would employ around 30 local staff.
The spokeswoman said opening was predicted for "some point" in 2015, depending on the amount of remediation work required at the site.
This week Cr Overall also quashed speculation the Council-owned car park lying directly next to the Dan Murphy's site would be sold to Woolworths as part of the development.
Queanbeyan City Council will soon consult with both QCity Transit and the general public regarding the design of the Collett St Park and Ride.