'It needs to be fixed': Authorities to meet on deadly bypass
A GROUP will meet tomorrow to discuss safety issues on the Alstonville bypass.
Greens MP for Ballina Tamara Smith called the meeting after the second death on the Ballina Rd interchange of of the Bruxner Highway at Alstonville last week.
On Monday, August 20, a motorcyclist travelling east on the Bruxner Highway was flung from his bike after he collided with a van coming from Ballina Rd.
Despite efforts to revive him, he died at the scene.
Ms Smith said she would host a meeting with representatives of Ballina Shire Council, Roads and Maritime Services and police.
"I hope to get a wide range of expert opinion from the group on what the options for improving safety at the intersection are,” Ms Smith said.
"All options are on the table. We must do whatever we can to prevent another death at this location.”
Ballina mayor David Wright was among those who fought for the stretch of road to be built, taking traffic away from the Alstonville township and freeing up the commute between Ballina and Lismore.
He said it was "terrible” so much tragedy had unfolded there and hoped the meeting would bring authorities a step closer to better safety.
"Once it was in place we realised ... it wasn't right,” he said.
"It needs to be fixed.”
Cr Wright said while he was "not an expert”, he envisioned a roundabout could be the solution.
"The easiest thing would be to lower the speed limit but I don't think people would stick to that speed,” he said.
"I think it's going to be something simple like a roundabout.”
He didn't believe there would be enough space for proper highway interchanges on the bypass.
At the Ballina Rd end of the bypass, morning and afternoon sun glare and the crest have been cited as major risk factors.
"We can't change the sun,” Cr Wright said.
"I just hope that we can do something about it and sooner rather than later.”
Residents have meanwhile been backing a petition calling for major upgrades along the bypass.
The petition has so far rallied more than 1200 signatures.
The meeting will be held at Ms Smith's Ballina office from 9am tomorrow.