Having attended the Simon Richardson transport meeting on Thursday evening I am a little concerned that some of these private proposals for use of the corridor would turn our shire into another Coffs or Gold Coast with a ‘theme park’ atmosphere. Byron Bay particularly is an area people come to relax, surf, walk to the lighthouse, watch whales, kayak and look for places to walk and cycle! They want a natural, adventure or relaxed experience.
I have met many people visiting our area who are disappointed there is nowhere safe to ride and not many places to walk. We need to keep the corridor for everyone to use (especially locals) – not just tourists prepared to pay big bucks to pay an operator to get them to Bangalow or Mullumbimby. This is not a public transport option.
The obsession with keeping the rails has become a deterrent for real discussion on viable transport options in the shire. The rail trail is part of the transport solution – providing a safe, beautiful, sustainable place for people to walk or cycle throughout the whole of the northern rivers region. This is a fantastic, regional project that can share the corridor with the North Byron Beach Resort who have done the work and have an advanced proposal in place. With all of these other proposals coming out of the woodwork now (since the rail trail has become a reality) – there could be a risk that it will all come under the ‘too hard basket’ for the government. Let’s stay focused on keeping the corridor in public hands and not selling out to multiple private enterprise groups that may take away from the real northern rivers experience.
Marie Lawton, Byron Bay