Byron Bay hits impasse on town bypass

FRUSTRATION over traffic in Byron Bay is boiling over and business owners are demanding action from the shire council.

However, the council says there is no easy solution to what it calls an 'insoluble problem'.

With summer traffic again choking the town, business group Byron United has renewed calls for a bypass.

A traffic study commissioned by the council last year effectively dismissed the idea by revealing less than 20 per cent of traffic in Byron Bay would use a bypass.

The study showed most cars drove into Byron Bay and stopped in the centre.

However, Byron United president Ed Ahern said the study was flawed and that the real figure of through traffic that would use a bypass was closer to 70 per cent.

“Most people driving through town are just going about their business, taking the kids to school or on their way to work,” he said. “It (the study) is an absolute nonsense.”

However, Cr Tom Tabart said the council stood by the study's findings.

“It was a comprehensive study that was done through the on and off seasons over a few years,” he said.

Cr Tabart said traffic woes were always a high priority for the council, but building a bypass was impossible.

“We're not adverse to the idea, but we can't get permission and we don't have the money,” he said.

Cr Tabart said the root of the problem was that Byron Bay was not designed to cater for so many people.

He said ideas like a park and ride scheme and a tram service around the town were being considered by the council to help ease congestion.

However, Mr Ahern dismissed both ideas.

“We've had 15 years of traffic problems,” he said. “This is just another example of the council planning to do nothing.”

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