The scene of a crash on Bangalow Rd, near Friday Hut Rd.
The scene of a crash on Bangalow Rd, near Friday Hut Rd. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

UPDATE: New Bangalow Rd lanes expected within five years

UPDATE, Thursday 5pm: NSW Roads and Maritime Services says two new overtaking lanes for Bangalow Rd could be built within the next five years.

A RMS spokeswoman said  in the last five years it had invested $12 million "into projects to improve road safety, drainage, quality and longevity of the Lismore-Bangalow Road".

"Page 106 of the Lismore to Bangalow Road corridor strategy identifies the need to build a northbound and southbound overtaking lane. A short term recommendation is defined as a five year period," it said.

Crash data for the road shows that serious accidents have not declined over the past eight years, with 69 serious crashes between 2013 to April 2016 including three fatal crashes.

That continued the crash rate mentioned in the RMS report showing in the five years between 2008 and 2012 there were 105 serious crashes, or about 20 per year.

Speed was a factor in 43.5% of the crashes.

The most common time of the day for crashes was noon to 1pm, 6-7am, and 9-10am. 

To view the report, go to: http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/documents/projects/northern-nsw/corridor-strategies/lismore-to-bangalow-corridor-strategy.pdf

 

UPDATE, 3pm: MOTORISTS on the dangerous Lismore-Bangalow Rd can look forward to two new overtaking lanes alongside a host of other improvements if the recommendations of a new Roads and Maritime Report go ahead.

The busy road, whose long rural section is used by 7000 motorists per day - the majority commuting between Byron Shire and Lismore - is the subject of a draft 20 year report now on public exhibition.

The document has revealed how dangerous the road is, with the average "casualty crash rate" per kilometre per year up to triple the state average in some areas, with speed and fatigue combined with poor road surfaces and a lack of safety features cited as contributing factors.

Over a third of the surfaces between Lismore and Clunes are more than 40 years old, with nearly half of that section exhibiting "extreme rutting".

And 74% of the same stretch has rutting categorised as between moderate to extreme, while the marginally better Clunes to Bangalow section has 36% classed as moderate to extreme rutting.

The report is available here: http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/documents/projects/northern-nsw/corridor-strategies/lismore-to-bangalow-corridor-strategy.pdf

ORIGINAL: A NEW report released by Roads and Maritime Services on Bangalow-Lismore Rd has revealed the road is the scene of almost one crash per week, a third of which are severe.

The RMS has released a draft 20 year strategy for the key link road between Byron Shire and Lismore which hosts up to 12000 vehicle movements per day.

The road boasts an unenviable record of 245 crashes in the five years recorded, or almost one per week.

Of those crashes, 103 were 'casualty crashes', which caused either an injury or fatality to one or more of the people involved.

The draft document, shown in the map below, shows a cluster of serious crashes along the 100kmh zone between Lismore and Bexhill, including three fatal accidents.

DEADLY: Bangalow Rd had 245 crashes in the five years between 2008 and 2012, six of which were fatal.
DEADLY: Bangalow Rd had 245 crashes in the five years between 2008 and 2012, six of which were fatal. RMS

DEADLY: Bangalow Rd had 245 crashes in the five years between 2008 and 2012, six of which were fatal.
DEADLY: Bangalow Rd had 245 crashes in the five years between 2008 and 2012, six of which were fatal.

According to the RMS metric of "casualty crashes per km", the Lismore to Clunes section, at 0.44 casualty crashes per km, was more than twice the state average of 0.195 on rural roads.

The Clunes to Bangalow section was even higher, with 0.58 casualty crashes per km.

According to another key metric, the "severity index" which adds more weight to severe and fatal crashes, the worst stretch of the road is the Lismore to Clunes rural section (outside of Lismore City limits) followed by the Clunes to Bangalow rural section.

Speed has been identified as the most common factor in crashes, blamed for more than half of crashes between Clunes and Bangalow - while wet surface conditions were also a factor.

The RMS has made several recommendations on taking action the road, including the creation of an extra overtaking lane in each direction.

Currently there is only one overtaking lane in each direction, eastbound between Bexhill and Clunes and westbound between Binna Burra and Clunes.

The RMS has also recommended the construction of a cycleway "to promote recreational travel needs of cyclists between Lismore and the Byron Bay coast.

"This may include a rail trail," the report added.

The report said the road would continue to remain a "principle freight route" in the local region despite the opening of the new Pacific Highway route between Byron Bay and Ballina which links to the Bruxner Highway.

Bangalow-Lismore Rd remains the most direct route from Bangalow into the Lismore CBD, Casino and beyond.

The report is available here: http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/documents/projects/northern-nsw/corridor-strategies/lismore-to-bangalow-corridor-strategy.pdf



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