11.1 C
Byron Shire
May 17, 2021

Byron Council to introduce car-free Sundays in the centre of town

Latest News

How to exercise more voting rights in council elections

Being a property owner in NSW isn’t just a financial advantage, it also means you have more rights to vote than non-property owners.

Other News

Locals call for automatic revocation of speeding fines on Hinterland Way in first half of April

When local man Nathan Hicks saw posts on Facebook about locals who had received fines they believed were incorrect he decided to look into challenging his own fine. 

War The Bloody Hell Are You?

When faced with potential conflict, why are we abandoning the strategy that’s worked in the past for one that will definitely fail?

Locals question placing homes in areas of inundation risk

It is where the community fought off Club Med and it is once again in the spotlight as the current owners, Elements, are seeking to have the zoning of the environmentally sensitive area in Bayshore Drive changed from tourism to residential

Interview with Cyprien Clerc, Founder and managing Director of Futureseeds

Founder and Managing Director at FutureSeeds, Cyprien Clerc, talks to The Echo about this upcoming event.

How to exercise more voting rights in council elections

Being a property owner in NSW isn’t just a financial advantage, it also means you have more rights to vote than non-property owners.

Re Netflix

David Gilet, Byron Bay You would have to say that the Byron district has more than its fair share of wankers,...

Paul Bibby

Byron Council has taken a further step toward getting cars out of, and pedestrians into, the centre of Byron, by voting to introduce car-free Sundays.

Designed to replicate the success of the town’s New Years Eve celebration – Soul Street – the move will see part of Jonson Street and some other adjoining streets closed to cars for one Sunday a month.

Revellers enjoying last year’s Soul Street celebration in Byron Bay. Image: Richard Jeans

‘The time is definitely now,’ independent councillor Cate Coorey said in moving the motion at the last full Council meeting.

‘We have, as a Council, delivered the means by which a car-free town centre is possible: a road that bypasses the town centre, and new and improved cycleways.

‘There should be no need here to explain why this is a good idea – we have been working towards getting cars out and people in for years and it is a main tenet of the Byron Town Centre Masterplan.

‘I feel that a car-free Sunday is a good way to get people acculturated to a town centre that is walkable. A Sunday does not interfere with people’s commute and will have less of an impact on people’s daily lives.’

The meeting heard that the Council already had plans to permanently relocate the Byron Community Market into the centre of town, including the partial closure of Jonson St.

This market occurs on the first Sunday of each month, meaning that the relocation could compliment the plan for a car-free day in the centre of town each month.

‘Ongoing investigations on Butler Street Reserve have delayed the market’s return to the Reserve, but the now operational bypass and upgrades to Railway Park, the rail corridor and the surrounding carparks, have presented an opportunity for the permanent relocation of the market in to the centre of town,’ Council’s place manager, Claire McGarry said.

However, Ms McGarry highlighted a number of potential issues with the car-free plan.

These included the impact on local businesses, reduced parking and loss of the associated paid parking revenue, and the cost of traffic management such as providing water-filled barriers, traffic controllers and signage.

‘Significant community consultation, planning and budget allocation will be required,’ she said.

‘Staff having commenced the investigation and Development Application preparation process [in relation to the market relocation] recommend that Council give this process priority, and not commence any conflicting projects seeking to achieve similar outcomes at this time.’

Councillors voted unanimously to proceed with the car-free Sunday plan.

‘It’s evident whenever we close the road how much everybody loves walking around in the centre of town,’ Cr Coorey said.

‘The sky won’t fall in, businesses won’t fold – in fact I think people are more likely to go in.

‘I note the staff report and I’m happy to fit in with the process of relocating the market. I would like to see it happen as soon as practicably possible.’

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. Missing the point.
    Too many cars, period.
    Local traffic OK, non local traffic parks out of torn and is ferried around by emission free busses funded by bed tax.

    • In Canberra, which has large numbers of visitors sharing spaces with visitors, they value visitors who are the second largest source of income after government. They understand too locals are better able to find alternatives to using cars, like public transport and cycling. So they provide free parking at tourist attractions and locals pay $10 to $15 a day to park at or near work. Cycling and bus patronage is among the highest in Australia. That’s how you deal with traffic, particularly at peak hours, while encouraging visitors who are a major source of employment for Canberra’s students and other young people.

  2. Anon, don’t jump the gun. I’m sure arrangements will be made to accomodate such access. But the one Sunday a month is a brilliant idea. We were in Rome in Feb 2000 when they had their first one. It was a raging success. Not sure if it’s still happening though.

  3. Within a year, we may see this once a month experiment turn into a 365 days a year fixture.
    Pedestrians and cyclists, ambling around umbrella tables and diners, will bring much of the lost Byron feel back, and more.
    Businesses will get closer viewing and greater attraction in this enormous boost in ambiance.

  4. thank you Echo for your great support towards the construction of the bypass, so events like this are possible lol. And also for your support of Becton so we have a light rail through Bangalow Byron and Mullum with beach access and parkland at Sunrise rather than a billionaire’s resort.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Bluesfest announces October dates for 2021 festival

After two disappointing cancelations of their event, Bluesfest has announced that they will hold the 2021 festival over the October long weekend -  Friday,...

Power outage in Byron Shire

Power supply company Essential Energy says that approximately 1,780 homes and businesses were without supply this morning.

Filming of Byron Baes begins with no indigenous consultation

Filming of the Netflix series Byron Baes has reportedly commenced without any effort made by the show's production company – Eureka Productions – to consult with local indigenous groups or the local Council.

Byron Comedy Festival launched with a laugh

At a hilarious sold-out launch of the Byron Comedy Festival, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki had the entire Byron Bay Surf Club giggling last night