Traffic queued along Ewingsdale Road at Byron Bay.
Traffic queued along Ewingsdale Road at Byron Bay.

Have a say on traffic issues

AS TRAFFIC snarls in Byron Bay continue to frustrate drivers, Byron Shire Council has moved to assure the community that it is working towards a solution with its latest traffic survey.

Traffic data collection, which includes traffic volumes, speeds and travelling times, has been occurring at key locations around town during the peak summer season, with the aim of helping understand the best way forward.

But many believe the council’s latest efforts will do nothing to ease congestion and will simply end up on an ever-growing pile of reports and studies that are yet to provide any practical solutions.

Laurie Lynch, who runs a business at Byron Bay’s Arts and Industry Estate, said traffic along Ewingsdale Road was particularly horrendous at this time of year.

He has spent 25 years watching various councils try to deal with the traffic woes of Byron.

“I’ve been riding to workbecause it’s quicker. By 9am traffic is queued all the way to the industrial estate and it’s still queued at midday,” Mr Lynch said.

“We’re having a five-hour peak hour.”

Mr Lynch said most businesses in the estate closedover Christmas/New Year because customers did not want to deal with the traffic.

“No one wants to make the trip out here and risk losing half-an-hour trying to make the 3km trip back to town,” he said.

According to the council, the latest traffic survey will be used for a report on potential bypass options, including the so-called mini-bypass, a full bypass, and any associated works such as intersectionupgrades.

The mini-bypass is the current option favoured by councillors, and would see a second rail crossing built near the Railway Hotel, linking Butler Street to Jonson Street.

The council gave it their ‘in-principle support’ in Nov-ember and have decided todevelop a design for the sec-ond crossing so that it can be assessed by the State Rail Authority.

However, Mr Lynch believes this option would only add to traffic jams in the town.

“It is only going to inject more traffic into an already congested area at the junction of Jonson and Marvell streets, where you also have a great amount of pedestrian traffic,” he said.

Mr Lynch said a full bypass, following the road reserve beside the railway track and emerging at Browning Street, would be a better solution.


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