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Byron Shire
September 18, 2021

Locals call for tourist route signs to be covered on Coolamon Scenic Drive

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Coolamon Scenic Drive accident in December-2018. Photo supplied.

Locals are calling for action on Coolamon Scenic Drive after two accidents during December on the tourist route.

In 2016 tourist route 28 was extended by RMS and Byron Shire Council along the narrow and windy road that is Coolamon Scenic Drive. However, locals are now requesting that the signs be covered claiming that increasied traffic is seeing a higher number of accidents on the road.

This follows a long running battle by locals to get the ‘intolerable risks’, that were identified by RMS on the road in 2017, addressed.

Prior to Christmas locals wrote to councillor Alan Hunter requesting that, ‘At least guideposts (minor cost) to be replaced by Council by Xmas to improve the minimal night time delineation on the road’. However, council officers said no funding for any works possible as they didn’t have the time or resources to do the work before Christmas.

Call to cover the signs

Coolamon Scenic Drive accident in December-2018. Photo supplied.

Surely resident and tourist driver safety comes first and in this case the signs would automatically qualify for an immediate temporary covering,’ frustrated resident Anthony Stante told Echonetdaily.

‘Council have baulked at diverting money to even replace the guide posts on the road that have been destroyed by their own maintenance crews.’

Mr Stante is now planning to take his concerns to the next council meeting during public access.

There is zero night time delineation with 99 per cent of guideposts missing and destroyed by council mowing,’ he said.

‘The curve speed signs and chevron arrows are missing and centre line marking is incomplete. This makes for sub-standard road with a high risk of incidents, especially with unfamiliar tourist drivers.

‘The road should never have been made a tourist route in 2016. Safety works should have been completed prior.’

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  1. Our local roads are dangerous and more so this time of year when there are many visitors to the area who want to visit the hinterland.
    Seems the money invested in ugly phallic structure on the way into Byron would be better spent on our roads and saving lives.

  2. One only needs to visit to formerly sleepy hamlet of Federal over the Holidays to realise that the party (of peace and quiet) is over in the hinterland. The intolerability of Byron has well and truly reached to the top of the Shire in Federal on on all of the roads leading there. On the given day, not a parking place to be found, not a nibble of food in either the prepared section of the store or at the Doma Cafa. Very long waits … not because of locals. Most locals wouldn’t think to visit Federal over the holidays, knowing that the tourist trade will have overrun the entire area. And how do many of these tourists, who are not familiar with driving on roads not organised in a grid, get there? Yes, Coolamon Scenic Drive. How do mapping services get them to Coolamon Scenic? Often on Possum Shoot, perhaps the most dangerous road in the Northern Rivers. I would think that the safety of residents would be a priority for council, and if it were, these roads would be properly signed, properly lined, removed from tourist drive routing, and their speed limits would be reviewed. Can there be anything more obvious or easy to accomplish with a such a favourable result for residents living in the hinterland?

  3. Another failing of the Coolamon Scenic Drive is signage.

    At the T intersection near Mango Lane (Coorabel Hall vicinity) there is no mention of Mullumbimby, a major destination for travelers I would have thought.

    • Hi Andy,
      I take your point but unfortunately road designers and road builders need to take into account drivers with all levels of experience and skills. That’s why roads frequented by unfamiliar drivers like tourists on nominated tourist routes need basic safety measures like guideposts and maintained road shoulders in case of runoff.
      Residents have witnessed multiple accidents including fatalities on our narrow road sometimes caused but impatient locals driving like bats out of hell, on mobile phones and distracted.
      Ultimately it’s your family and friends who use our roads and basic safety measures are an obligation of council under duty of care obligations. These measures keep all of us safe.
      Hopefully RMS will fund improvements soon and council will finally act on our concerns.
      Concerns we have voiced since mid 2014.
      In that time, there have been countless accidents and multiple injuries on CSDrive.


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