Twenty-three crashes in five years, an average of 1,362 vehicles per day and an independent road safety audit that found various ‘intolerable’ risks on the 11.3km stretch of road between Goonengerry Road and the Pacific Highway has finally seen some action.
Local resident Anthony Stante, who was a project manager on the Ballina Bypass upgrade from 2007-11, was relieved to wake up on Tuesday, December 12 and discover that the recommended line marking finally in having been carried out.
Mr Stante had put his concerns on the safety of Coolamon Scenic Drive to council three-and-a-half years ago in late 2014 and ‘the local traffic committee had agreed to do things to make it safer,’ he said.
Increased traffic with no fix
‘In the mean-time Council agreed to signpost an extension of Tourist Route 28 from the old highway right the way along bringing even more tourists to our substandard local road making it even more dangerous.’
However, the traffic committee stated that council may need to seek out further funding options, or advise of further funding options, for the review and changes to signage and line marking.
Mr Stante told Echonetdaily that he gained a copy of the independent road safety audit through an FOI enquiry to council that ‘recently found various “intolerable” risks which must be addressed including line-marking, curve signage and guideposts.’
‘The independent audit found the road clearly has a high accident rate and subsequent to the recent audit findings, Council has elected to stage the required urgent works with line-marking a priority.’
Council staff slow to act
Mr State told Echonetdaily that ‘Both mayor Simon Richardson and local MP Tamara Smith have been very supportive but council officers have been tardy acting on residents repeated advice on safety concerns.’
Key locations from Mullumbimby to St Helena Hinterland Way now have new double centreline marking. Also existing badly faded line-marking had been redone.
‘Dangerous overtaking manoeuvres will be less frequent and driving at night or during heavy rain or both will be significantly safer,’ said Stante.
‘Our local school buses will travel more safely with our kids on board at less risk of being run off the narrow roadway.
However he pointed out that ‘It should not take three-and-a-half years for council to act on serious safety concerns. Hopefully a new GM will make council officers more accountable especially for serious safety issues.’