A decade on, Easter traffic still gridlocked

AFTER yet another Easter in Byron Bay which saw traffic gridlocked not only in the CBD but out as far as the high school, Byron United has slammed Byron Council for its lack of action over a bypass.

“Ten years ago the traffic in Byron over Easter was bad, and now it’s a decade later and still nothing has been done,” Byron United president Ed Ahern said.

“There has been no plan put in place for a bypass by the Green-dominated council who are obviously anti-visitors and anti-locals.

“It’s an absolute disgrace that people, both tourists and locals, have to put up with the traffic chaos and congestion that happened here at Easter.

“And I don’t blame all the traffic on the Blues Festival either.”

Mr Ahern said Byron Bay needed a second rail crossing, but it seemed that there was no hope of getting anything done.

He said a mini bypass option using the existing emergency rail crossing at the southern end of the railway station which was currently being investigated by council was a ‘joke’.

“Council doesn’t have a plan or the will to deal with this problem,” Mr Ahern said.

“When the residents living in this town can’t even get to their own shops because of the traffic gridlock, then something has to be done.

“And it’s not just the locals who are inconvenienced; holidaymakers find the traffic frustrating as well.”

Mr Ahern said that despite the traffic and despite the constant rain, businesses in Byron Bay and in fact the entire shire had traded well over the holiday period.

“Of course the food and alcohol outlets did exceptionally well, but other business people that I have spoken to also had a great Easter, some recording record sales,” he said.

“The Blues Festival was extremely well run and despite the mud and the rain, the crowds enjoyed themselves.”

The Byron News reported last week that the council was seeking an urgent meeting with the State Government to get a decision on a second rail crossing for the town.

Mayor Cr Jan Barham said the council couldn’t do anything about alleviating traffic in the town until approval was given for a second crossing.

Consultants have recommended a mini-bypass for the town making use of the existing emergency crossing at the southern end of the railway station as one of the options for easing traffic chaos in the town.

In conjunction with the mini-bypass, the consultants recommended a new roundabout be built at the intersection of Jonson and Marvell Streets and a new lane added at the Shirley, Lawson and Butler Streets intersection.

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