Bypass needed before ambulance is moved
ANY thoughts of building a new ambulance station with the planned new Byron Bay hospital at Ewingsdale should be shelved, at least until a properly-functioning Byron Bay bypass is built.
While The Northern Star sympathises with the need to upgrade the ageing facilities in Byron Bay, no gain in a new building at Ewingsdale would be enough to compensate for the damage that would be done to ambulance response times within the Byron town centre and south to Suffolk Park and Broken Head, of having ambulances join the Ewingsdale Road traffic jam.
Ewingsdale Road is famous for the log-jam of cars created by the intersection of Jonson, Shirley and Lawson streets.
It’s bad enough that IGA felt it worth investing in a new supermarket at the Arts and Industry estate on the assumption local residents and workers would prefer to shop there than to fight through Ewingsdale Road to get to Woolworths in town.
For years now Byron residents have been fighting for a bypass that would take south-bound traffic around the town centre and clear the Ewingsdale Road log-jam. But even now the only versions being discussed are watered-down bypasses that would either dump traffic in the town centre or at the bottom of Jonson Street.
At some point the bypass issue will have to be resolved. But until then, Ewingsdale Road motorists will continue to face long waits trying to get into town at peak commuter times and during holiday seasons.
That’s not something we want ambulances, rushing to help the sick and dying, thrown into.