12.6 C
Byron Shire
July 13, 2024

Transport renewal underway

Latest News

Losing town water access

I grew up and live in Mullumbimby, and I know locals have a strong opinion about the Byron Shire...

Other News

New music festival for Mullum

Esteemed musician and founder of the Nimbin Roots Festival, Lou Bradley, is bringing a new musical venture to the heart of Mullumbimby. The inaugural Mullum Roots Festival is scheduled to take place in July 2025, promising a vibrant celebration of music, community, and sustainability.


Edward Kent’s letter, Wallum (June 26), tried to diminish the importance of the Save Wallum campaign to mere ‘piffle’,...

NSW Labor’s mental health reform aims to streamline agencies

Despite the presence of many high-quality services, the difficulties involved in navigating the mental health system as a whole can make seeking help a distressing experience rather than a therapeutic one.

What price conscience?

Senator Fatima Payman's abrupt departure from the Labor Party after crossing the floor over the issue of Palestinian statehood was a very public demonstration of the tensions between party cohesion and individual conscience in the Australian political system.

Affordable housing key to Ballina Greens, Kiri Dicker’s, Mayoral campaign

Lennox local and sitting councillor Kiri Dicker is running for Mayor of Ballina Shire Council in the upcoming council election on September 14 and is putting affordable housing for key workers as front and centre of her campaign.

Playing with fire

Their excitement is infectious. Young schoolboys in uniform cluster around Rebecca Barnes’ stall as she passes the finger limes...

Cr Basil Cameron provides an update on Council’s recent efforts in sustainable transport

Transport is now the leading source of carbon emissions. Add to that the shortcomings of our local car dominated network and the need for change is clear. Active and alternative options must no longer be an afterthought. They must be at the centre of transport planning for our community.

Active and alternative transport options must be accessible and connected for the greatest success. Connectedness or integration means people can conveniently move between footpath, cycleway, bus, and train.

Some renewal of town centres will be necessary to achieve this, a process that is already underway.

Pedestrian-friendly town centres

The community’s desire for pedestrian-friendly town centres has been embedded into the Byron, Mullumbimby, and Bangalow masterplans. Movement and access studies will guide street design and connectivity for each town.

In Byron, a series of east–west pedestrian corridors are planned.

In Mullumbimby a green corridor along Stuart Street is proposed.

The Bangalow Village Plan prioritises walking and cycling along the rail corridor to provide a link through the town to the sportsfield.

Dedicated parking spaces have been made available for a car-share trial in Byron to help reduce overall vehicle numbers.

Planning for access and connectivity beyond the town centres is also well advanced.

New shirewide bike and pedestrian access and mobility plans have been developed following a high level of resident participation in community workshops. 

A Shirewide transport strategy is being developed with connectivity, active options, and reducing carbon emissions as central goals. An initiative of TIAC, the strategy sets out a roadmap for a more connected and sustainable transport network. Think electric-car charging points, public transport development, and an overarching guide for delivery of the masterplans, bike, pedestrian, and other transport policies.

These plans play a critical role in funding as they support grant applications that allow for restricted money such as developer contributions to be pooled with grants.

For example, $30,000 of contributions has been successfully parlayed with grant funding into a $530,000 budget for work on the ‘missing link’ of the Byron–Suffolk Park cycleway in 2019/20. 

Rail corridor

Another missing link previously described as the ‘backbone of an integrated transport network’ is of course the rail corridor.

It remains the best option for public transport because it more directly links the centres of our towns. The potential to link otherwise isolated bus services and active corridors by using the rail corridor not only provides many more travel options for people, but it also helps to make new services viable through increased patronage.

Council’s study into the multi-use activation of the rail corridor within Byron Shire will be presented to the Council meeting at the end of June. And the news is encouraging.

The engineering assessment concludes that the line is in ‘surprisingly’ good condition including key components such as the rails, formation, ballast, and drainage. 

The study looks at six possible options for the corridor. Based on an economic assessment, the best performing option is for multi-use walking, cycling, and a hi-rail shuttle.

Hi rail is a system using light rail motors that can run on rail and road providing flexibility and ability to connect areas beyond the rail corridor. The rail motors can be linked in sets of two to four and each can be quickly delinked along the way to pick up, and connect with other transport links. 

A social assessment is included with a brief to stand in our community and identify the benefits through our eyes. 

In particular the benefits of better tourism management, and local benefits not considered by earlier studies, were shown to be significant. Combining local commuter and tourist visitor needs means the study is better able to support funding for tourism infrastructure.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge and thank the many residents, TIAC community representatives, tourism industry representatives, and community groups who have helped shaped Council’s transport planning in recent months. This body of work demonstrates that Council and community are committed to a cleaner, better connected, and sustainable transport future.

Cr Basil Cameron is chair of the Transport and Infrastructure Advisory Committee (TIAC).

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. So, to sum up: masterplans, planned, proposed, plan, planning, plans, strategy, roadmap, masterplans, policies and, er, plans. Ah, that should take care of it.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Lavertys Gap history

The Lavertys Gap hydro power station was installed in 1919. In 1939, during the Great Depression, people had no money, and Council decided to...

Electricity lines clipped and lines come down in Lismore

Police have confirmed that a truck clipped powerlines today on Dawson Street, Lismore. 

NSW Drug Summit announced – finally

The NSW Labor government has finally delivered on their election promise to hold a NSW Drug Summit that will take place this year. 

Getting the word out on wildlife

The Young and Wild project by young women and run by Byron Youth Service (BYS) has produced wildlife stickers and murals, all to raise awareness of the plight of our native animals.