I spoke with the producer of BBC’s World’s Most Dangerous Roads documentary recently. The show had planned to showcase the back roads of Byron and Mullumbimby.
Things changed when the British location scout didn’t return. His diary was found in a muddy half-metre deep pothole with snippets of the apocalyptic journey: ‘27th April 2015: The horror. The horror. These roads are far worse than anything I saw in Bolivia. Regularly I am left with the choice of losing a wheel or losing my life in a head-on collision. It is not only holes so deep that hippies stop to bathe and gutted road edge drop offs that attract world-class rock climbers – hardwood tree branches fall from the sky shattering windscreens and construction signs litter the roadway. Despite some interest in a road repair breakaway group (retained rates for community road repair) local drivers have absorbed the neglect and road rage is becoming frequent. Wealthier locals have purchased road-tearing 4WD’s. This is understandable – it is their only way to get home without losing their undercarriage. Others spend thousands on ball joints, suspension rods and wear and tear.’
‘Nearby towns have developed a roaring trade in massage and spa facilities. The majority of clients are frazzled locals. There is an understanding local tyre shops, mechanics, spas and psychologists collude with Council to maintain the status quo. Local wreckers on the other hand have lost the trade of one time clients who now visit the hinterland to retrieve free hubcaps and mechanical parts scattered amongst the construction site wasteland. My concern with airing the next episode of World’s Most Dangerous Roads west of Mullumbimby is that it would have to be our final episode. It cannot be topped. The drama is daily and substantial. However I suspect viewers would complain deeming the ‘roads’ are not actually roads and our team have stooped to unforgivable lows of filming goat-tracks.’
Ben Nowland, Mullumbimby