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Byron Shire
February 4, 2023

Ewingsdale Road reopens after oil spill

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Traffic on Byron bay's main thoroughfare, Ewingsdale Road, is at a standstill this morning as council road crews work on cleaning up an oil spill.
Traffic on Byron bay’s main thoroughfare, Ewingsdale Road, is at a standstill this morning as council road crews work on cleaning up an oil spill. Photo Alison Harman

Updated, 3:45pm: Ewingsdale Road is now open to traffic and both lanes are open after an oil spill early this morning closed it for much of the day.

Council road crews have cleaned the site with a specialised soil and sand that has absorbed the truck oil from the road pavement. Street sweepers were then used to clean up the soil and sand.

We apologise for the inconvenience this has cause motorists today. Motorists are advised to drive with caution as the road surface may be slippery, particularly in wet weather.

Staff will be monitoring Ewingsdale Road over the coming weeks.

Original story: The main entrance way to Byron Bay township is closed in both directions, possibly up until lunchtime, as Byron Shire Council staff battle an oil spill on the roadway.

A council spokesperson said the oil spill from a truck had occurred on Ewingsdale Road between the Woolworths service station and the arts and industrial estate.

‘Traffic is being diverted. Police and council staff are in attendance. The cleanup is expected to take at least a few hours,’ the spokesperson said.

An Echo drudge on the way to work this morning said there was ‘sand all over the road’ apparently used by council to mop up the spill and that traffic was ‘at a standstill’.

‘I had my engine off for about 20 minutes,’ she said, adding that traffic into town was slowly moving but traffic out of town was at a standstill.

Byron Shire Council has apologised for the inconvenience and asked motorists to observe all traffic controls in place.

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  1. Seem to be a lot of oil spills. There was one last Friday morning between Clarkes Beach and The Pass. Road reduced to one lane. Police directing traffic and the council madly tipping stuff onto the oil out of bags labelled ‘Kleen Sweep’. Ghastly powdery gunk floating around in the air as the cars started moving through again. Not good for all we morning walkers and runners. Did they track down the people responsible for both spills? Do they contribute to the cost of the clean-up?

    • One of the workers cleaning up Friday’s spill told me the culprit that day was a Richmond Waste truck. Hope it wasn’t the same truck this morning!

  2. I’ve been waiting 2.5 hours. The council workers are just standing around with their shovels and brooms chatting, not showing any urgency. This is very frustrating

  3. When will the good people of the Shire realise that their wholly inadequate and badly neglected road infrastructure is having a serious and increasing impact upon both the quality and cost of our lives.

  4. This gives us all a clear example of how Byron Bay is a major tourist destination with a major road problem: the problem being that there is only ONE main road in and out of town from the north, with no other feeder roads, bypasses, etc. All traffic has to flow through this one single lane road in and out of town, which crawls at the best of times anyway.

  5. What happened to the police re directing traffic? This had a huge effect and cost to business in Byron with no communication from the council!! Understand that accidents happen but where is the contingency plan and then the council want to put in another sub-division, with an extra 17000 people, lets also not forget that it wasnt even peak time!!! Imagine what would have happened then?

  6. Very poorly managed. Lack of vision and will to help.
    8:15 on my way to the IE saw some ducks on the road and brake a bit hard, front left wheel slipping worryingly, dangerously.
    Came back 8:30 into town, my lane is open the other one is blocked with workers spilling sand.
    All the way into town every car is motionless.
    I wish I had a Conscious and Aware Person License with authority enough to direct people towards Bangalow and the highway. Nobody cared for them (us) going into a 2.5 hours steady traffic jam. I did go to Tweed Heads later on happy to have the knowledge to avoid it, sad not to be able to share it.

  7. I too was in the 2.5 hour traffic wait. We waited and asked as people walked by, Nobody knew the problem, Nobody knew how long it would take for the road to re-open. A sand truck finally arrived about 10.00am and still no news when the road would re-open. A truck load of fire fighters stood around with flashing lights and orange witches hats on the road blocking the road, but still no news.WE put the radio on and had a keen ear for BayFm as radio presenter Nick Jeans had a laugh on air… “Just a little bingle on the road” he called it .but No information, seems like the sex talk interview was more important news for him than the main artery into town was closed with a community traffic crisis. Shuttle buses were missing the airport connection, School kids were stranded in school buses. Business people could not open shop. Then someone down the line said “just wait they said half hour it would be open again”, So WE waited one hour and more cars did U turns, , Then we were told it will be open in another half an hour there is an “oil spill.” Still Nothing was being done. It seemed like a timewarp, the area was silent, The traffic at a standstill.The echo of people chatting amongst each other. Time stood still, Nothing moved, No action, no one on the road spreading sand. No police giving us information but lots of police paddy wagons parked everywhere. Our council road team Believably again unorganized and still no one came to inform the people waiting in traffic. A council road worker could have been directed to let us know about the situation, but nooooooooo..Not one Chief there to direct the Indians.
    It sort of reminded me of Tijuana, all the Mexicans having a siesta while the potholes get bigger. Byron Bay is just like that south of the border town. Hustle, bustle, siesta, fiesta, pothole,tourist, traffic, rundown dusty old town.
    Just then a good person yelled back, ” IT WONT BE OPEN TILL LUNCHTIME” Ah a sigh of relief came from all. So we did our USUAL EWINGSDALE ROAD U’TURN went home and went back to bed, woke up mid afternoon and wondered if it was all another Ewingsdale Road nightmare.
    to be continued……………………………………………..


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