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Byron Shire
April 19, 2021

Proposed bypass bypasses nothing

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I thought the word bypass meant ‘pass by’, or, ‘not go into’.

Given the chance to comment on the council plans to build a bypass along Butler or Byron Streets we see that that the proposed bypass does not bypass anything. Parking will be lost and the town will be seriously disrupted for a long time. Traffic travelling North or South will still have to queue up to get in or out of town.

The Wentworth Street options (from Kendall Street over to Butler Street) do offer some hope of alleviating some of the traffic between the Industrial Estate and the town centre. They might also take the market traffic away from the roundabout near the police station. With all the proposed development along Ewingsdale Road the traffic will become more chaotic than ever.

Of course there is an existing very good bypass between Suffolk Park and ‘The Farm’ in Ewingsdale road. It is called the Pacific Highway. Take Midgen Flat Road at Suffolk Park out to the Highway, turn Right until you reach the Byron Bay turn off and there you are at the beginning of Ewingsdale Road. It looks about the same distance as the proposed Wentworth Street Option. Can the environmental issues be sorted?

If we are looking to the future for the Byron Bay town ‘grabbing the rail’ should not be an option. In other towns and cities they are reconstructing their trainlines which can become great movers of people. We have minimal public transport here. There are buses for the school children and for outer areas like Lismore but where are the community buses? Where are the bus shelters and the buses for the elderly and other people living East, all the way to the Lighthouse, of the railway line?

When planning to alleviate the serious problems we have with the traffic coming in and out of town don’t accept a ‘make-do’ solution. Already there is an enormous amount of development between Suffolk Park and the town centre. Future development along Ewingsdale Road, across to the Industrial Centre, and into Belongil, must be considered in any decisions about a ‘bypass’. Soon the new hospital will add further complications to the situation.

The council should listen to the residents and all the people who will be affected by building a Mini or a Maxi bypass that does not improve the traffic chaos.

Design for the future.

Do it properly and do it ONCE.

Hilary Kerr, Byron Bay

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  1. The problem with all bypass deisgns is they assume a significant proportion of traffic wants to bypass the town and travel from Ewingsdale to Suffolk Park (and vice versa). This clearly isn’t the case. The DA for the current bypass estimates just 25% of traffic will use the bypass. 75% of traffic will still cross the railway line at Lawson St.

    Longer bypass designs that start further west (Kendall St/Woolies Caltex) and end further south (Cemetery Rd/Road House) will be fantastically expensive and attract even less traffic, maybe just 10-15% Byron Council can’t afford such pipe dreams and the NSW government is not going to fund a $30-$40 million dollar bypass that only benefits residents while tourists are left to queue up on Shirley St.

    We have to stop designing bypasses for residents only and look at ways to manage to daily tourist invasion. This means giving daytrippers attractive parking options west of the CBD to stop them driving into town, and provide an easy way to drive *around* a pedestrianised town centre to the beaches and lighthouse.

    The tourists don’t want to go to Suffolk Park, and tourist traffic is going to grow much faster than resident traffic even with West Byron.


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