The number one complaint from Byron shire residents is the quality of their roads but the council believes it has come up with a quick-fix solution.
The council has a new patrol truck fitted with a range of equipment to do minor repairs and make the road safe until it can be properly fixed.
The ‘Road Patrol Service’ will allow for a faster response to fixing potholes and other problems on the roads until the road maintenance crew arrives to fix them properly.
Council’s general manager Ken Gainger said while the road repairs would only be temporary, ‘at least the hole in the road is rendered safe to drive on’.
‘I expect the team that operates out of the patrol truck will be our ‘eyes’ on the shire’s roads and staff will be responsible for spotting problems, and either fixing them immediately and/or logging and reporting them so proper maintenance can be carried out,’ Mr Gainger said.
‘In all of the feedback the community gives us the poor quality of our road network is the number one concern and this is a new initiative that will show our residents that we are hearing them and doing our best to make things better.
‘This is a proactive solution that will significantly improve the timeliness of repairs and improvements to drainage and signage,’ Mr Gainger said.
The Road Patrol vehicle will also have a lot of other equipment on board and this means staff can undertake a wide range of ‘smaller’ jobs that they spot whilst driving around the Shire.
‘It might be as simple as stopping to prune vegetation that is growing over a sign or cleaning graffiti.
‘I am most proud of the effort council has made in the last several years to address a backlog in infrastructure funding and this year (2017/18) we will spend $40 million on infrastructure.
‘This is up from $3.7 million in 2012/13 and whilst I admit Byron Shire Council still has a long way to go, we have certainly made significant improvements,’ Mr Gainger said.