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Byron Shire
December 4, 2021

Rail corridor right for bypass, trail and parking

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I have supported the reinstatement of the train service in the past but no longer can do this.

I grew up in Byron Bay and have used the train to get home from Mullumbimby High after sport in the afternoons. I left home on the train to go to uni and had many journeys back and forth in sleeper cars or sitting up all night playing cards in the dining car with fellow travellers.

I have many fond memories of train travels to and from Byron Bay. I was very sad to see the train service stop.

I no longer think the train line in our region is viable. It does not appear to be economically workable as it is a minor branch line, so as a freight line it is not feasible, given the changes to local industry in the last 30 years.

Also, no one has pointed out the existing rail corridor is so close and within the existing beachside erosion zone which is designated for building removal in a major storm. At one point the railway track is only about 20 metres from the top of the dunes. If we had a cyclone/storm as in the 1950s and 1970s the chances are the rail lines would be would be washed away.

Bangalow Road heading south to Suffolk Park is a residential road and now become a major arterial road to Suffolk Park, Lennox Head and Ballina. The bicycle path on this road is tokenistic as it really is only a footpath. Many cyclists ride on the road as it is safer than the bicycle path.

The mixture of blinded reverse drive ways, pedestrians and truly bad crescents and curves make the designated bike path a death trap for cyclists. There is no scope to upgrade Bangalow Road to cater for increasing traffic or to create a safer bicycle path.

In the past three years the Suffolk Park end of town is starting to get traffic jams similar to those on Shirley Street at peak times. This is only going to increase in the future.

The most rational and environmentally responsible way forward for our growing population is to use the railway corridor for a bypass, bicycle path and for parking. This would take a lot of pressure off Bangalow Road and it may give scope for Bangalow Road to become a quieter residential street rather than a major arterial road.

I think the proposal for the bypass to start at Kendall Street and then proceed along Byron Street to the railway corridor and then continue along the railway corridor to Old Bangalow Road at the south end of town has the most merit. This proposal caters for the entire town.

The Butler Street bypass is only a bandaid solution which entails the destruction of the amenity of an existing residential street.

Gina Ghioni, Byron Bay

 

 

 

 

 


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1 COMMENT

  1. I like trains. I also used to catch that train, many trips to Syd and back. Fun. I miss it, mum and dad waiting to pick me up at night at Mullum… Ahh

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