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Byron Shire
May 16, 2022

Death or injury ‘inevitable’ on Coolamon Scenic Drive

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Multiple wet-weather single-vehicle accidents are happening on the same stretch of Coolamon Scenic Drive. Photo Brad Garnham
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A resident of the Byron Bay hinterland says Byron Shire Council has ‘dragged its feet for a year’ over a dangerous stretch of Coolamon Scenic Drive near St Helena hill.

The section of road is located about 100 metres past the house with the old petrol bowser out front.

Brad Garnham told The Echo that it is particularly dangerous owing to it being the first tight corner when travelling west from the highway.

‘The evidence of multiple and regular wet-weather single-vehicle accidents here should be more than ample motivation for the council to sort it out. It’s a disgrace that nothing has been done here’.

Mr Garnham says he followed up his initial contact with Council a few months later but no action has been taken. He said, ‘Disturbingly it’s been 12 months since I lodged the alert.’

Dangerous in the wet: a tight bend on Coolamon Scenic Drive.
Dangerous in the wet: a tight bend on Coolamon Scenic Drive.

 

‘I also followed up via phone, with a person who heads the road repair department (I’m not sure it really exists) about two months after this application after yet another car crashed off the road here.’

Mr Garnham says the section of road is particularly slippery owing to the oily surface of the road and needs a resurface.

‘At speed, you could comfortably take a similar radius turn in the wet. But this corner offers much less grip.

‘[Council] have merrily resurfaced sections between Federal and Eureka for example, that pose nothing more threatening than the irritation of it being slightly bumpy.’

‘Currently it’s only a matter of when, not if, someone is injured or killed.’

The Echo asked Council staff for comment twice but there was no response.

Mr Garnham's report to Byron Shire Council. Click to enlarge
Mr Garnham’s report to Byron Shire Council. Click to enlarge


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4 COMMENTS

  1. I have lived at Coorabell for more than fifteen years and driven that of section road multiple times every week. I can recall at least a dozen incidents, and can only say I am amazed that no one has yet been killed. There have been injuries, but no fatalities. But the same can be said for so many places on Byron hinterland converted bullock tracks, that the only question is this where do you start!

  2. Kudos to Mr Garnham for expressing his concern in the interests of the rest of us. A Gong to Byron Council for their slow response. Has anyone mentioned the term “Liability” yet ?

  3. I STRONGLY AGREE -every time I use this stretch of road I am very nervous-it is a DANGEROUS corner- a few years ago I saw a car spin 360% in wet weather here.
    WHEN is the council going to do something about this stretch of road?

  4. Well done for staying with this. While we are on the subject, has anyone driven up the hill from Mullum to the Goonengerry turnoff lately? I live in Montecollum and I can only say that it also
    is often a, ‘near death’ experience. At the very top of the road, just before the turnoff to Goonengerry there are no lines marked on the road and no guard rail on the low side. I don’t know how often I have been run off the road by people driving this section of road. It is obviously not wide enough and too difficult for our Council to do anything with and yet it is a major hinterland access road. Not to mention the road taking people to a widely advertised hinterland attraction.

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