Ballina cycleway thwarted
By Will Jackson
FOUR Ballina councillors have lodged a rescission motion against the approval of a shared cycleway and footpath in Burns Point Ferry Road.
Councillors Margaret Howes, Sharon Cadwallader, John Felsch and Alan Rich submitted the motion on Tuesday night following the approval last week. The move halted construction of the path which was due to begin in the next couple of weeks.
Cr Cadwallader described the approval as 'bureaucratic bungling at its worst'.
Council voted last Thursday to build the shared path on the eastern side of the road where residents' homes are located. Driveways of varying size and depth would be intersected by the proposed pathway.
The western side across the road is currently vacant land and the option residents preferred for a cycleway.
Council general manager Paul Hickey said councillors, who voted five to four on the issue in an anonymous vote, made compromises to the plan by scaling the size of the path down from 2.5m to 2m and moving it closer to the kerb in an effort to minimise impact.
He said the councillors had to balance competing safety, amenity and infrastructure concerns.
Cr Howes said she was concerned about the safety of cyclists negotiating residents reversing out of their driveways, problems constructing the path over the driveways and the destruction of residents' gardens.
Council staff recommended against placing the path on the western side as users would have to cross the road twice. They foresaw difficulties in crossing near the ferry terminal.
Cr Howes said the rescission motion would go before the council later this month, and she was hopeful at least one councillor would change their mind before then.