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September 27, 2021

MP calls for interchange at Alstonville black spot

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Bruxner Highway, Alstonville. The scene of a fatal car accident in 2016. Photo Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter.

Ballina MP Tamara Smith (Greens) has called for a motorway-style interchange between Bruxner Highway and Ballina Road at Alstonville, the site of several fatal accidents, including one earlier this year.

And she has accused the RMS and the state government of creating more confusion with new signage that has been installed there.

In September, Ms Smith sent out a survey to more than 4,500 households in and around Alstonville and Wollongbar about both the Ballina Road and Sneaths Road intersections with the Bruxner Highway.

More than 1,000 surveys were returned and the majority of respondents said they ‘felt unsafe’ or ‘very unsafe’ at both intersections.

For the Ballina Road-Bruxner Highway intersection at Alstonville, about a third (32 per cent) of respondents said they wanted a full overpass/underpass interchange, about the same amount (33 per cent) wanted a roundabout and 20 per cent wanted traffic lights. Some 15 per cent suggested other solutions such as traffic speed cameras, lowering the speed limit to 60km in the area or making traffic use the on and off ramps at Kay’s Lane, further up the highway.

For the Sneaths Road-Bruxner Highway intersection at Wollongbar, 39 per cent of respondents favoured a roundabout, 29 per cent wanted an overpass/underpass interchange and 16 per cent wanted traffic lights, while 16 per cent favoured other options such as a speed limit reduction to 60km, speed cameras and for motorists to simply take care and drive to the conditions.

Ms Smith said that the state government and the RMS had simply ‘applied a few Band Aids in the name of safety’ to the fatal Alstonville Bruxner Highway intersection.

She said the daily ban on right-hand turns from 3pm-6pm ‘has gotten some negative response from residents’, adding ‘the new Give Way sign for motorists entering Alstonville travelling from Lismore is causing more confusion’.

‘Previously there was no Give Way sign there and motorists on both sides of the highway are now confused about which traffic is and is not giving way – which makes another accident very likely at the intersection.

Gold standard solution

‘We need a gold standard solution for this intersection – one that should have been built in the first place. There needs to be an interchange – fully separated on and off ramps for traffic to ensure the greatest possible safety for motorists.

‘It’s what the motoring public deserve and it’s what the relatives of those who have died on this stretch of road need to ensure more families do not go through the heartache of losing a loved one.

‘This is something I will be continuing to campaign for,’ Ms Smith said.

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  1. It has taken decades to separate traffic with a duel carriage way from Sydney to Brisbane.
    The separation of traffic was considered the most cost-effective way even with the spending of many hundreds of millions of dollars and decades to complete.
    So the interchange must separate traffic or it will cause deaths.

  2. It is not very heartening is it that only 32 percent of drivers know what “road safety” is. Everything else is window-dressing. And we have to drive with these people who think just to throw something together will do when it comes to saving lives.
    How much would you insure your life for? Say $5million. If three people have been killed, there is $15 million spent on the intersection already without a spade being moved.


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