VEHICLES could be banned from the Main Beach area of Noosa under a council push to rid the tourist hot spot of its holiday traffic bottleneck.

The ban is one of several proposals being considered, along with introduction of paid parking, as the billionaire's playground is at risk of being strangled by its own popularity.

Noosa remains the jewel in the Sunshine Coast's crown and the ever-popular coastal strip is bustling once again as thousands flock to the river, beach, national park and Hastings St to enjoy Christmas and usher in 2017.

Mayor Tony Wellington is upfront about tackling holiday traffic frustrations as a new transport strategy is being developed to marry up with the new town plan also being developed.

Should cars be banned from Noosa Heads?

This poll ended on 15 January 2017.

Current Results

Yes. It's just not working as it is.


Yes, but there would need to be much better public transport to make up for it.


No. They need to sort out the parking issue.


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

"One suggested solution is to make the precinct a vehicle no-go zone," Cr Wellington said.

"Shuttle buses, dedicated electric vehicle and bike lanes, plus paid parking are just some of the many options on the table.

"Many people point to European examples where vehicles are prevented from entering inner city areas."

He said the traffic issues usually spiked during summer and school holiday periods and said planning was being undertaken to try and solve a number of traffic choke points particularly along Noosa Pde.

A proposal was being developed with consultants to address the narrow footpath and bike paths along Noosa Pde, in a bid to encourage more people to take alternate transport and ease congestion created by cars in the popular tourist strip.

Noosa traffic jam.
Noosa traffic jam. Patrick Woods

Cr Wellington said the strategy would aim to drive a "modal shift" in transport use in the area, rather than simply adding more parking which in turn encourages more cars into the area.

"The most commonplace suggestion that council receives regarding traffic congestion in the Hastings St area is to put in more parking.

"But experience elsewhere has clearly shown that adding parking does not reduce on-road traffic congestion. In fact, it generally makes matters worse by encouraging more people to drive. We need to be smarter than that."

And the erality was that Noosa simply did not have the population density and rates revenue to support hugely expensive infrastructure like monorails, skyrails and subways.

Noosa Pde presents a number of challenges to the council as it looks to improve access and connectivity, with two choke points in particular, one at the Munna Point bridge and the other heading towards the Sebel, bringing four lanes of traffic into two, creating bottlenecks in busy periods.

Traffic also becomes heavily congested along Noosa Dr, Park Rd and Hastings St, as drivers jostle for carparks as they vacate.

"Of course it's a challenge, it's an ongoing dilemma," Cr Wellington said.

The traffic problem has raised its usual challenges for traders along the tourist strip.

Kookai is one of the stores on Hastings St and manager Nuriann Wardrop said there was plenty of tourists, especially Victorians, pounding Noosa pavement.

Plenty had complained about how difficult it was to access Hastings St, she said.

"Noosa Pde's always congested at this time of year.

"If they ever did (solve the problem) it would make a difference to trade."

She said tourists unsure of where they were headed also added to frustrations, with the odd argument breaking out among motorists eager to find a park and settle in.

"It's a known thing now that Noosa's not good for parking."

Noosa Longboards assistant manager Samuel Crookshanks said it had been incredibly busy over the past few days.

He'd heard all accommodation had booked out in Noosa Heads and said the visitors were "spending lots of money".

Traffic hadn't been "too bad" along Noosa Hill and Noosa Pde, with his own trip taking about an extra five minutes.

But whenever the weather was good Noosa traffic increased as it was such a family orientated destination.

Cr Wellington said permanent electric buses and increased motorised scooter use were among some of the solutions being workshopped by the council and consultants, with the community to have plenty of input into the future transport strategy.

Electric bikes are also an alternative community groups had shown plenty of support for.

A wider pathway between Little Cove and Noosa National Park is another solution Cr Wellington hoped might encourage more people to walk instead of drive, with design work ongoing for that project which he said had been budgeted for.

In the short term, council would continue with its free park-and-ride holiday bus service.

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