B-double route through Alstonville

FOR almost 12 months, the villages of Alstonville and Wollongbar have been free from noisy highway traffic, including B-double trucks.

The long-awaited, $97 million Alstonville bypass opened to traffic in May last year.

But now Ballina Shire Council has been asked to regazette the old Bruxner Highway as an alternate route for B-doubles.

Roads and Maritime Services has told the council it needs the old route as an alternate in case the bypass is closed because of a major traffic incident.

But long-time Alstonville resident Bob Wilson, who campaigned for the bypass for more than 20 years, said he would "hate" to see B-doubles back in the main street.

"The council has just done a beautiful job upgrading the main street; it looks fantastic," he said.

"With the new gardens and changes to the streetscape, I don't think it's B-double friendly now.

"In fact, I don't think two B-doubles would be able to pass each other in the main street any more.

"I can see where they are coming from, in case of an accident, and they need a back-up, but this is not a good alternative."

RMS recently made the request to the council's Traffic Committee.

The council's civil services group manager, John Truman, said there were no technical issues with the regazettal.

"When the Bruxner Highway went through Alstonville (before the bypass opened) it was gazetted by the RMS as a B-double route," he said.

"The new bypass is now the state highway and is also gazetted for B-doubles.

"Now that the old Bruxner Highway is a local road, the RMS would like the council to gazette it for use by B-doubles in the event that the bypass was closed due to a major traffic incident.

"The (traffic) committee has noted from a technical perspective the road geometry can accommodate the request.

"The request is being referred to council to examine if there are any issues from a community perspective."

The council will provide further direction on the matter at next week's ordinary meeting.



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