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Byron Shire
February 9, 2023

Council backs Bangalow residents over ‘rat run’

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Pastor Uncle Gordon Johnson died peacefully on January 26. A celebration of his life will take place this Saturday, 11 February at the Mullumbimby Showground.

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RMS's proposed signage and Byron Shire Council's alternative proposal.
RMS’s proposed signage and Byron Shire Council’s alternative proposal.

Byron Shire Council has thrown its weight behind Bangalow residents who want to prevent a deluge of traffic through the town caused by RMS proposals to direct highway traffic through it to Lismore.

Council announced yesterday it had put in a submission against the proposed RMS signage for the Pacific Highway T2E project directing Lismore traffic through the town.

Council’s director of infrastructure, Phil Holloway, said the proposed RMS signage would ‘promote Lismore as a destination via the exit at Bangalow, with increased traffic through the small town and travel via Lismore Road (MR65)’.

The Lismore Road does not have a good safety record and council and the community would prefer that Pacific Highway traffic choosing to go to Lismore take the newly upgraded Bruxner Highway, he said yesterday.

Mr Holloway’s statement reflected concerns raised by the Bangalow Progress Association earlier this month, which blew the whistle on the last-minute RMS snap decision, which took place after consultation with the local community had concluded

“Local people who travel from the Bangalow area to Lismore and vice versa, are already aware of the Lismore Road route and the new signage would therefore only encourage new road users,’ Mr Holloway said.

Council’s preferred option is that no signage is put in place at Bangalow, but if it is required that the signs reads Lismore Exit, 20km ahead, use Bruxner Hwy,’ he added.

Progress Association president Tony Hart said the group believed the purpose of the new highway was always to ensure heavy trucks were as far as possible kept off local roads.

‘The intention of the main highway was to encourage freight to stay on that highway,’ Mr Hart told ABC local radio on April 3.

‘A lot of money is spent building these highways and yet, against local advice, the RMS is proposing a sign at Ewingsdale that will indicate that people should go off the highway to get to Lismore via Bangalow,’ he said.

‘That road is already overloaded. It’s a dangerous road; there have been a lot of deaths on it. Soon we will have a highway that is very safe, yet the RMS is still planning to suggest drivers take what at first appears to be a shortcut but is in fact only about four minutes shorter,’ Mr Hart said.

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  1. If Lismore traffic is not stopped from travelling through beautiful Bangalow I will have to employ the graffiti artist who calls himself ‘Nigel’ to de-face the RMS sign. Are you ready Nigel??

  2. WHAT A RIDICULOUS STATE OF AFFAIRS – lets cut off Bangalow and rename it “Sleepy Hollow”.
    The road from Lismore to Bangalow is still an interesting road to drive but if these wowsers get their way it will end up becoming dangerous because it will be downgraded to a council road.
    It has been well looked after ’till now even though much more work needs doing to improve it and allow more overtaking so challenged drivers don’t get a lineup behind them.
    As to the claim of being four minutes shorter, Mr Hart is misguided with his information.
    I strongly object to any signage that will confuse people into going to Lismore via Ballina.

  3. It isnt shorter via bangalow i know people who travel daily via ballina then the bruxner and they arrive 5 minutes before and we have actually timed it with a much stresless drive. i can also testify to the lismore road via clunes as the most dangerous road i have ever known having witnessed 3 fatalities personally actually offering posthumous CPR in the 4 years i lived in clunes.. Whats the point of building a bangalow by pass then directing traffic through town to a road already littered with crucifixes..

  4. The idea that a Lismore sign will direct huge volumes of new traffic via Bangalow is the biggest load of BS.

    I’ve travelled the route via Bangalow for 25 years and now I go via Ballina.

    I’d like to see an experiment and real figures for proof that traffic volume would increase significantly.

    As for a “deluge” that’s just hyperbole.

  5. I always advise young and inexperienced drivers to go via the Bruxner Highway. But why shouldn’t others be able to experience the beautiful scenery and villages along the way between Bangalow and Lismore? Sounds like Bangalow snobbery to me. All those cashed-up blow-ins don’t want nasty Lismore bogans spoiling the village ambience.The 2nd proposed sign would only be confusing for people who might have been given the directions ” take the Lismore turnoff at Bangalow” as a way to get to somewhere in between Bangalow and Lismore….not very helpful to them.

  6. For many years the road through Bangalow was the ONLY choice and no one had an issue with its use. Now there is an option there is debate.

    Has anyone stopped to consider what happens to the road if traffic drops to low? FACT – if it ceases to be a highway that attracts funding outside of Local Govt, it then becomes Local Govt responsibility. It will cease to be maintained to its current standard because $$$ just aren’t there.

    How many motorists going via Bangalow turn left at the round about to check out the town? Buy something to eat / drink and hopefully something from other retailers isn’t bad is it?

    Take away the traffic and isolate Bangalow, Clunes and Bexhill further is not going to be positive for long term. Locals don’t spend enough to sustain the business in those towns.

    A sign that informs motorists and gives them a choice isn’t a bad thing. A sign that is informative can’t be considered adversely.

    Time for people to take off their blinkers and actually think long term and big picture.

  7. Well Richard thats a nice “wish list” combination of two of the most influential players here.
    That of course is The Lismore Council and Bangalow Chamber of Commerce.
    If you peeked outside YOUR blinkers and looked at the LOCAL picture surely you would take into consideration the fact that The Lismore Bangalow Road IS consistently rated one of the most dangerous in NSW.
    I am sure I don’t need to remind you of recent fatalities ??
    And that is the reason The RMS originally agreed to promote the highway as the preferred route.


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