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Byron Shire
April 20, 2021

Byron Bay Bypass route decided

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The controversial Byron Bay Bypass route, which has received the thumbs up from a council staff report.
The controversial Byron Bay Bypass route, which has received the thumbs up from a council staff report.

Byron Shire Council today released its Byron Bay Bypass Preferred Route Report (PRR), which reviews all of the bypass alignments that have been considered over the past two decades.

The report concludes that the council’s controversial preferred route, utilising Butler Street, should go ahead. It adds that constraints on the rail reserve make that alternative unviable.

The PRR was required prior to council embarking on an Environmental Impact Study (EIS).

The PRR detailed the history of the project and compared the 2001 EIS recommended alignment to the current planned alignment and considered the benefits and constraints of each. It looked at possible alignments along Butler, Byron and Wentworth streets.

Byron Shire Council’s director of infrastructure services, Phil Holloway, said the preferred route remained council’s current plan, which would see the bypass start at the Shirley Street roundabout (near the police station), taking in Butler Street to the southern end of the existing road, and building a new road within the road reserve.

A new rail crossing would also be required to connect the Butler Street road reserve to the southern end of Jonson Street (east of the rail line) and create a new intersection at Browning Street (near Mitre 10), most likely with a roundabout at the intersection.

Problems with rail corridor

Mr Holloway said the PRR included a desktop review of all previous bypass studies and listened to residents who have been advocating for the use of the rail corridor as an alternative option.

‘As is detailed within the report, the existing Butler Street route is the preferred option for a number of reasons including that the road reserve is wide enough to accommodate the proposed two lanes and that the land is almost exclusively under the ownership and control of council, with the exception being the rail crossing,’ Mr Holloway said.

‘Plus the current Butler Street route has the support of the state government which recently announced its support with $10.5 million funding,’ he added.

On the option of using the rail corridor, Mr Holloway said the land had ‘a number of complex issues including land tenure and competing objectives for the area’.

He said this included ‘the current need for large buffer zones for the rail that can only be removed if the rail line is closed via an Act of Parliament’, and added land also needed to be set aside for the proposed rail trail.

The EIS requirements will be established once council has lodged the application with the Department of Planning and Environment for approval.

‘Once the Preferred Route Report and the request to lodge an application have been considered by the state government, feedback from the department will be included within the EIS,’ Mr Holloway said.

When commenced in the New Year, the EIS will include a two-part community consultation phase and considers issues such as noise attenuation, pedestrian and cyclist access, local and resident access, lighting, paths and parking. The community will have an opportunity to provide input at the start of the EIS process in early 2015, as well as a second opportunity to provide feedback on the draft EIS document and road design in the middle of 2015.

The Preferred Route Report can be downloaded as a PDF here.

 


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11 COMMENTS

  1. How is a bypass in town a bypass ? Same back up of traffic will occur as the split occurs once you are in town.
    I just don’t see it will alleviate any of the traffic congestion. This report was commissioned almost 14 years ago… maybe it would have worked then! This is a waste of 10 million dollars!!

  2. Good idea…….just get on with it. I know council have talked about it since 1989…………it’s the best alternative we have right now and will keep traffic moving and avoiding the tourists crossing the road at Jonson St which creates a lot of the traffic jams………

  3. This is complete deception by Council, it is second rate option, highly damaging to community, culture, residents and ecology. They continue to suppress the fact that this Butler Street route was examined in 2001 for the EIS at that time and the alternative railway corridor route was selected and approved because it was far less impact, cheaper to build and more efficient being closer in proximity to the town. Council management has not listened to the community they have had their Butler Street Bypass route as their preferred route for the pass 6 years and they have not budged. Their consultants GHD are fully under their direction and they control and manipulate information to the Councillors to get their required outcome.
    Awfulisers. Bye bye community market culture, bye bye Butler street heritage precinct, bye bye green corridor linked to SEPP 14 wetlands, bye bye wetlands, bye bye residential/pedestrian precinct hello continued traffic chaos, hello more Bangalow Rd resident unfriendly type streets of Byron, hello more residents who don’t give a dam, bye bye Byron Bay.

  4. Here’s an idea for council clowns. Put the bypass in from BP Ozigo intersection at the industrial estate, and run it in a southerly direction to come out near the water tank just west of Red Devils Park. Keep it a 50km zone and koala safe. Now get crackin’

  5. It may be a little too little a little too late, but to echo Whitlam, “It is time”. Admittedly in this case it is long past time but it is time to stop wasting more time. This thing has dragged on far too long. Stop the interminable, pointless discussion and just get on with it.

  6. This will not relieve that grinding trip along Ewingsdale Rd. I agree, there are people who don’t need /want to go into CBD, simply one side of town to the other. Sure, have access into town via Mitre 10 etc, for those who live or want to be in the area, but the Ozigo south option is eminently more sensible. Jonson, & another should be closed to traffic altogether, enabling comfortable amenity to enjoy walking the streets not fighting over them.

  7. More than ONE ROAD leads to (Rome) or Sydney or Byron Bay. Why put one bypass if it is not really a bypass?
    Why not go with the Ozigo – South idea through the bushes as well as Butler Street extending it to behind cemetery up to the road to Bangalow. Oh perhaps you have to buy some land. Perhaps you might like to make a very obvious and third turn off from the soon to be old highway near St Helena’s…make the route safer or perhaps join it up from somewhere near Ewingsdale. Logic is the answer.
    Tourist have a right to cross the road in town safely … if we take a holiday to a foreign place we would expect and have a need to feel safe. Open up the entrance to car park behind Madddogs and Pool again near Jonson street round about to divert traffic up to Main Beach and make top of Johnson Street a traffic free mall, let rest of traffic go through town. You have to provide more crossings for safer crossings especially for kids. Must be some magnetic pull from Mt Warning stopping the logic in (some not all) councillors brains. Just go forth and conquer.

  8. it will alleviate some of the traffic going into town..no doubt about that..pity we cant do the rail option but maybe one day the rail will return..on a positive note it means the busses can park at the market grounds and not cause congestion..as the markets IMO have long been in the worst place in the northern rivers..it would be nice to have the markets some where pretty like the Channon or Bangalow have..full marks to everyone who tries to beautify Byron market ground.. fighting a losing battle, there is only so much you can do with a chemical dump..possibly the new sports ground can accommodate…this change will affect a lot of people some for the worse…but lets face it the traffic is horrendous.although this wont fix it..its a step in the right direction IMO.

  9. As pointed out by Paul and Cherie… Not only will this be another waste of time and money it will be worse from the community amenity point of view and once done the real best bypass won’t ever get done. This will not change any traffic issues just make things worse. This will compound the looming West Byron proposed additional housing should it be built. Big thumbs down to council!
    For those who just want to get on with it because it’s better than nothing or its waited for so long…. This will be detrimental in the extreme. Do not build this bypass!

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