Byron CBD bypass is not a silver bullet, says Mayor

BYPASS ANNOUNCEMENT: Acting Premier Andrew Stoner, Roads Minister Duncan Gay, Ballina MP Don Page and Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson.
BYPASS ANNOUNCEMENT: Acting Premier Andrew Stoner, Roads Minister Duncan Gay, Ballina MP Don Page and Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson. Megan Kinniment

BYRON Shire Mayor Simon Richardson doesn't see the newly announced Byron CBD bypass as any kind of silver bullet to fix traffic congestion in and around Byron Bay.

But he does see it as a welcome first step in finding a solution to Byron's congestion woes that will include park-and-ride options and the use of the existing rail corridor.

"Byron Bay has a particular set of circumstances, with effectively one road into town and the bulk of the traffic coming from the north," he said.

Cr Richardson also fears that if Byron Bay develops more roads, then that capacity will quickly be filled with more cars.

"In Australia, as in America, we are very wedded to our cars and I fear that if we build more roads, we will get more cars," he said.

"The way to deal with traffic is to keep the traffic out and in the past the council have engaged park-and-ride plans for events such as New Year's Eve.

"The North Byron Events site already has two carriages to run on the rails and it would be great to incentivise and encourage visitors to use options like these to get into town."

He does see benefits arising from the new Butler St bypass.

"People from the Arts and Industry Estate and those living to the south in places like Suffolk Park will be able to move across town more easily," he said.

Cr Richardson also does not buy into the theory that the $10.2m for the bypass has appeared as a way of facilitating the West Byron Development.

Topics:  simon richardson traffic

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