WHERE TO NOW: The current Byron Bay Bus Interchange is well and truly at capacity, and then some.
WHERE TO NOW: The current Byron Bay Bus Interchange is well and truly at capacity, and then some. Christian Morrow

New bus interchange site ruled out

BYRON Shire Council will be forced to find another location for the long awaited bus interchange after Butler Street Reserve was ruled out due to an adverse environmental assessment.

Council is now working with the NSW Government on alternative designs with size of the interchange and its need to operate alongside the bypass being discussed at a meeting with the NSW Minister for Roads Melinda Pavey and representatives for the Minister for Trans- port in Sydney last week.

"It's common knowledge that the Butler St Reserve is on an old tip, which used to service Byron Bay in the 1970s, and the environmental assessment of the site found it is not suitable for the type of large scale construction and excavation that would have been necessary for the building of the bus interchange,” council's Acting General Manager Mark Arnold said.

Though the draft contamination investigations indicated that the current passive recreation activities on the reserve could continue, council is undertaking a separate review of the environmental assessment, which will used to inform the future discussions on the use of the Butler Street Reserve.

"The costs of construction were also a factor, in the decision by Transport for NSW to seek another site for the interchange” Mr Arnold said.

Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson said council met with the Department and the Ministers to discuss options regarding the relocation of the interchange to the eastern side of Butler Street.

"A more considered design will complement the bypass and will reflect what the community told us they wanted during the Byron Town Centre Master Plan process,” Cr Richardson said.

"The Department's initial design for the interchange near the water tower was way too large as it severely encroached into the rail corridor.

"I thank the Minister and the Department for their commitment to getting the bypass and interchange completed in ways that meet our community's needs.

"I also thank Ben Franklin for facilitating the meeting and advocating so positively for us and Tamara Smith and our wider community for the unwavering commitment to seek the best location for the interchange - due to all of our efforts, council is very close to negotiating it.”

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