At the launch of the new Nightrider bus service are Byron Shire Mayor Jan Barham (left), James Anderson (Beach Hotel), Hannah Mooney (Railway Friendly Bar), Sam Owens (La La Land) and JP Afflick (Cheeky Monkeys).
At the launch of the new Nightrider bus service are Byron Shire Mayor Jan Barham (left), James Anderson (Beach Hotel), Hannah Mooney (Railway Friendly Bar), Sam Owens (La La Land) and JP Afflick (Cheeky Monkeys). Kate O'Neill

Byron tops State with drink-drive

FOR seven of the past eight years, Byron Bay has topped the list with the State’s worst drink-driving record.

And it’s not the tourists who are breaking the law.

“Everybody thinks that’s the case, but if you talk to the police they’ll tell you it’s the locals who are getting caught,” Byron Bay Liquor Accord treasurer Gary Charles said.

To help change this shameful statistic, the accord has launched the new Nightrider shuttle bus service which will run in and around Byron Bay on Friday and Saturday nights, from 7pm to 4am.

Mr Charles said a lack of public transport and the expense of a taxi fare contributed to the town’s drink-driving record, so the accord had aimed to create something that was both convenient and affordable.

For a fare of $3, patrons of participating licensed venues can be picked up or dropped off along a route that includes Sunrise, Suffolk Park, Baywood Chase, Byron Hills, Lilli Pilli and the town centre.

The route will have some flexibility, depending on demand.

People wishing to use the service must pre-purchase their tickets from any of the hotels or nightclubs in town, participating restaurants, or from bottle shops, including those in Sunrise and Suffolk Park.

Although the service is targeted toward locals, it is open to anyone who wishes to use it, including groups such as schoolies.

Byron Shire mayor Jan Barham congratulated the accord on the initiative and said she hoped people would embrace it.

She said the bus would not only help people avoid being caught, but would also protect others on the road.

Anyone wanting to use the service can arrange a pick-up by calling 0419 848 875 during hours of operation. Those who are in town can also ask security or venue management to contact the driver. The RTA has contributed $25,000 toward the project.



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