Peter Finch, proponent, Byron Bay TramLink
At the third meeting of Friends of The Byron Line on Monday night the community group led by Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson saw rail based projects take a positive turn for using the north coast rail infrastructure.
It’s a win situation for everyone, from local residents to business owners to tourists, everyone stands to benefit from this exciting concept.
There have been 12 years of bicker and blame over the loss of rail services and now that Northern Rivers Rail Trail has withdrawn interest in joining a co-operative agreement for sharing the tracks with other groups, the Friends of the Byron Line will move ahead and consider rail based propositions which can incorporate cycling facilities where possible.
Byron Bay TramLink is my proposal to use the tracks to operate heritage trams and light rail vehicles to open up options for exploring the Shire, and also providing local community transport.
There could be rail services using trains, trams and light rail, pedal trolleys as a tourist activity and where possible, a cycle path can be created adjacent to the rail tracks.
The decrease in tourism numbers in the region isn’t ringing alarm bells just yet but being able to show off the shire in unique style will keep Byron at the forefront of must-see places for overseas visitors, and should the concept really take off, as the group expects, there’s no reason why Lismore and Tweed can’t also enjoy some of the pie baked by Byron Shire.