Divisions remain on interchange plan

BANGALOW residents this week got their first chance for a formal briefing on plans to build a full traffic interchange in the town when their stretch of the Pacific Highway is upgraded.

The meeting was organised by the Bangalow Community Alliance and included representatives from the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA), which is considering the plan, originally put up by the Ewingsdale Residents' Association. About 200 residents attended the meeting at the A&I Hall.

The plan would replace the RTA's current proposal for a northbound-only entrance and exit to Bangalow with the highway, to a full interchange with a bypass around the town.

Bangalow Community Alliance spokesman Terry Bleakley said the forum was an information night and a chance for opinions to be heard.

“The purpose of the forum was for the RTA to put forward its recent environment assessment for the interchange and give community groups the opportunity to showcase a series of short presentations,” he said.

Views put to the forum were evenly balanced. “The potential bypass is positive for some people in that it will divert traffic away from their homes and, for others, they don't want to encourage heavy vehicles on to a road which isn't built for it,” Mr Bleakley said.

The different views are to be included in a document for distribution within the community.

The RTA was asked by Byron Shire Council to consider the proposal and to study the idea before making a decision.

“The document will allow the public to see the different views and options in order to make up their own minds,” Mr Bleakley said.

“Bangalow locals have been anxious so the forum was a good opportunity for them and the RTA to be heard.”



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