People claiming the Byron Bay Rail Company’s train service from Bayshore Drive into Byron Bay will be a nail in the coffin for Byron Bay couldn’t be more wrong.
The train will carry 100 people and potentially take 50 cars off the road per trip, or 300 cars per day. Many people are saying they will use this train to get into Byron rather than sit for hours in traffic, then pay to park as well!
If the state government will step up to their responsibility and repair a few metres of line to the Cavvanbah Sports Fields, where there is more available parking, it’s possible the service could be extended and many more cars could be taken off the congested Ewingsdale Rd and Shirley St.
This would make it much easier for locals to go get to work and go about their business. Rather than a nail in the coffin for Byron, this train service could make life less stressful for locals and tourists as well.
Of course to really make a difference to traffic congestion, the line from Casino to Murwillumbah needs to be repaired and the 22km of line built to connect it to the Queensland line at Coolangatta for a commuter service.
This service would connect nine out of 10 local population centres and provide locals and tourists easy access to Coolangatta airport. Of the 5.8 million people who use the airport every year, over 2.2 million head south to the Northern Rivers.
The huge growth in local population, particularly in Byron Shire where population has more than quadrupled in 30 years, and with more than 4.6 million tourists to the region per year, certainly justifies a commuter service.
We know that road transport is one of the main contributors to CO2 and global warming, but it’s the road transport industry and oil companies et al which have the power to dictate transport policy to our politicians, not local residents.
The last thing the road transport lobby want to see is everyone using environmentally friendly trains, no matter how necessary the service may be.
No need to rip up a billion dollar rail line for another cycleway. There’s a perfectly good cycleway along Ewingsdale Road, though there’s rarely a cyclist on it.
Louise Doran, Ocean Shores