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November 30, 2021

Time for car-free zones in Byron

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Is it impossible to consider a Byron Bay with car-free zones? Couldn’t this amazing place filled with forward thinking people explore the possibility of a place with an alternative transport system?

There are small cities of the world that already operate completely car free – why couldn’t we?

The incoming traffic to Byron will only get worse and worse and worse. Given that there is one road into the place and one road out, surely it’s plainly apparent that a paradigm shift in thinking is required. There is a limit to how many lanes can be added to the Jonson Street roundabout!

Couldn’t we have buses continually looping the town and beaches dropping off and picking up? Lots of them so that every 15 minutes you were on your way. Buses that could easily and swiftly accommodate shopping, suitcases and surfboards. Perhaps each bus could afford a ‘host’ who could say g’day and lend a hand to open the undercarriage and put a surfboard on a rack, or some shopping bags in a safe store?

Couldn’t we have some bike kire stations (as they now do in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane) so that tourists and visitors can choose to pick up some wheels on Kingsley Street and drop them off at Main Beach?

Imagine a Byron Bay with some bike lanes, way fewer cars and friendly and plentiful local transport. It’s not a pipedream, it’s so achievable with some will. I have a dream… do we have the will?

Mell Coppin, Byron Bay


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  1. Hi Mell, I like your vision. Byron is just going to grow too fast with all the major developments in the pipeline. Forward thinking much welcomed.

  2. Car free towns are possible and desirable-especially towns like Byron with a train line and station in the centre.

    A train service around the region and into Byron would allow 900,000 day trippers get in to town at the same time reducing traffic and CO2 emissions. It would make the town safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

    Buses would still be needed to get people to and from the station.

    • Convering the disused railway into a start of the art cycle/walking path would be a great way to make the centre of byron more pedestrian/cycle friendly. Electric bikes could be hired out in town for those without their own bikes.

      It is laugable to think a train would bring 900 000 day tripppers into Byron. Was that per day?? From where, Casino?? Besides you’d still have buses clogging up the roads.

  3. I agree with Mel and I have been saying much the same thing for a long time.
    Park and ride is a concept that could save Byron but the current ‘trials’ using Ewingsdale Rd will never work – not enough parking at sports fields and still through the gridlock.
    There is plenty of space around tyagarah for parking and the rail could bring tourists into town to be met by electric shuttles to all points.
    Europe has been doing this for years with great success but of course they don’t have ‘progressive’ state governments.

  4. Agree fully Mell. If cities can do it, surely a small, relatively flat town like Byron can encourage more walking and cycling by closing off streets to cars. Active transport is the way of the future.

  5. With people wanting the train stations in the heart of our towns ie Byron Bay, Mullumbimby,Bangalow and Billinudgel we will never be able to be car free . Multi storey carparks will be required close to the train stations . Tweed Shire on the other hand wants it future train system to be highway based and have train stations at the Chinderah, Bogangar and Pottsville highway interchanges. Electric buses will take people into the CBDs and surrounding suburbs. Check the Public Transport Strategy by Tweed Shire , a document that I cannot find for Byron Shire! http://www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/Download.aspx?Path=~/Documents/Community/Transportation/TSC01557_Public_Transport_Strategy_Report.pdf


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