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Byron Shire
March 8, 2021

Diesel particles a danger

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We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters is at the discretion of the online and print letters editors.

ABC radio news, 7am October 2, continued dialogue with experts on the dangers of diesel fuel associated with the recent VW scandal. The flow of information went wider, revealing that Paris has outlawed diesel-emitting vehicles and the UK is following this trend.

Diesel is also outlawed in Philadelphia in the US. This action commenced in the 1990s and health warnings on the effects of particles on living species revealed a link to the rise in lung cancer, as the particles lodge in the lungs.

The hazards of particles reveals that they are not only locally situated but they travel far and wide. While a relief to traffic congestion in Byron is welcomed by the mooted diesel train to run from Sunrise to the Byron township, it seems apparent that deep moral and ethical questions stand out. Has a study been done on the emission of particles and their consequent effects on health? Is it worth taking the risk without the guarantee?

With other countries exercising extreme caution re diesel fumes it could be argued that it is negligent to proceed without guarantees. The train does save the line from being torn up and that is worthy but it seems what ‘gifts’ are offered with one hand could well be taken with the other, should diesel health dangers be revealed.

Jo Faith, Newtown, NSW


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  1. Wow. Does this mean all the residents living near railway lines are being poisoned? No.

    I think you would find the amount of exhaust and fumes emitted throughout Byron every day would not come close to that of the railmotor.

  2. Better idea is to have the line converted into a rail trail with 0 carbon emssions. The hertiage value of the line will be preserved and people could easily walk, ride (think electric bikes/mobility scooters etc) the flat 3km. The health benefits would also be great for the community.

      • I don’t think one 2 carriage rail motor train built primarily to serve guests from a resort is gong to do anything to ease traffic congestion in Byron. Anyway time will tell.

  3. Australia has the dirtiest diesel on the planet after India, and some of the lowest regulations for emissions.

    Stopping one tiny Byron train will do nothing to reduce the amount of diesel emissions from vehicles stuck in traffic on Ewingsdale Rd. Emissions from more traffic on the roads will increase. The road transport industry uses gazzillions of diesel every single day. The state government uses gazzillions of diesel in their trains every day. As the price of petrol increases, more diesel fuelled vehicles are being purchased private use.

    If people are concerned about the effects of toxic diesel emissions they need to be lobbying our government to have diesel cleaned up!

  4. When I travel to Ballina from Uki each morning I see dozens of B-double trucks plying the highway, sometimes in successions of 3, they look like trains but are a much more frightening. These trucks are pumping out diesel fumes like there is no tomorrow. So the diesel fumes from the Byron Shuttle Train may not be so good but at least this service is helping to preserve the rail line for future rail services which will ultimately serve to reduce our reliance on such fuel technology.

  5. Why is Jo Faith writing all the way from Newtown Sydney to complain about our little Byron train?
    I lived in Newtown once, it was the most polluted place I have ever lived.
    Jo, don’t you realise that this train will use less diesel than the buses currently running, and caught in the traffic? So replacing some bus services with a train will reduce the amount of diesel being used.
    I don’t like the traffic congestion and pollution from the buses so I can’t wait for the train.


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