Cyclist critical after accident on Mullum bridge

A SECTION of road near Mullumbimby where a cyclist was critically hurt on Tuesday night is notorious for near misses between cars and bikes.

However, Byron Mayor Jan Barham said a planned bike path to make the road safe for cyclists was not a high priority for the council.

A 21-year-old Mullumbimby man was yesterday in a critical condition at Gold Coast Hospital after he was hit by a car on the Kings Creek Bridge on the Mullumbimby Road, east of Mullumbimby, about 8pm.

The man suffered head injuries and was unconscious when paramedics arrived.

He was taken to the Tweed Hospital, and later transferred to the Gold Coast Hospital.

The driver of the car, a Mullumbimby woman in her 50s, did not require treatment.

The road is popular with cyclists commuting between Brunswick Heads and Mullumbimby and is used regularly by young people travelling between the town and the coast.

But the road, and the Kings Creek Bridge in particular, have a reputation for being a potential death trap.

There are several bicycle warning signs, but no dedicated bike lane.

“The scariest thing about riding along that road is the bridge,” said Taylor Mills, 17, who witnessed the aftermath of the accident as he rode home to Brunswick Heads on Tuesday.

Mr Mills said there was nowhere for cyclists to go if cars approached from either side.

Brunswick Heads man Tony Zahra is a keen cyclist and would love to ride to work in Mullumbimby, but said the Mullumbimby Road was too dangerous.

“I have two children and I wouldn’t risk it,” he said. “I’ve seen too many near misses. The road is too narrow and there is no provision for cyclists.”

Mullumbimby resident Karen Barnham, whose son Lucas regularly rides on the road, backed Mr Zahra’s call for a dedicated bike lane, describing the road as ‘a nightmare’.

However, Cr Barham said the Mullumbimby Road was not a high priority, even though it was part of the Byron Shire Council’s shirewide bike plan.

Funding was currently being directed to bikeways between residential areas and schools, she said.
Cr Barham said the council improved bike safety on the road this year by widening it and defining the bike area with road markings.

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