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.