In a previous letter, I queried whether Tweed Shire Council had commissioned a traffic study for the Kingscliff one-way.
Well it turns out they had and they still didn’t pick up the congestion in Pearl Street and the trapping of Pearl Street residents in their driveways.
In fact the study said that the five-ways roundabout would still be rated at the highest level of performance even after the introduction of the Marine Parade one-way. That alone should have rung warning bells.
Councillors are very dependent on the advice of their professional staff. In this case their confidence was misplaced.
They were not advised that a trial of the one-way should be held before committing to the final expensive construction. Instead they were told that the majority of the business and resident community wanted it based on the chamber of commerce pushing for it, the ratepayer group ticking it off and a pitifully small response to the public exhibition.
These people could not be expected to have the technical expertise to identify the potential Pearl Street problems.
A trial would have quickly identified all the problems in Pearl Street plus the safety of people getting out of their cars in the now very narrow Marine Parade, loss of sales for some businesses and that many tourists and residents did not enjoy the ‘coffee in a carpark’ experience.
The chamber of commerce was keen to get this job done. Council staff presented positive reports to councillors and went on to recommend that all of Kingscliff car-parking funds – $650,000 be spent to get 32 extra car parks along with a lot of grief for motorists, great frustration for Pearl Street residents, some businesses losing trade and café customers now grumbling about their dining experience.
Having read the reports, I cannot blame the councillors for what has turned out to be a poor decision for Kingscliff. They were let down by their professional staff.
It’s easy for me to be wise after the event, but we pay good money for council professionals to be wise before the event.
Ron Cooper, Kingscliff