Proposed signs will keep traffic on St Helena hill: warning
RESIDENTS between Tintenbar and Ewingsdale have welcomed plans to rename the old Pacific Highway "Hinterland Way" when the 17km upgraded section opens next year.
However, proposed signage for the route has triggered anger with residents and businesses, who say their input was ignored and that some signs could encourage cars off the safety of the highway and onto the dangerous Lismore-Bangalow road.
Ballina MP Don Page said the new name came after consultation with stakeholders, including local councils, business chambers and community groups.
New signage had also been developed with diagrams showing the Coast Road and Hinterland Way, Lismore signposted via Bangalow and Alstonville, with one sign north of the Ewingsdale interchange, updated signs at the Ewingsdale interchange and signs directing north and south from Byron Bay, Mr Page said.
Macadamia Castle owner Tony Gilding said he supported the name Hinterland Way but described new sign designs as boring and ineffective, saying they would not entice visitors to exit the highway and discover the area's charms.
"This is a lost opportunity to deliver benefits to the fledgling hinterland small-scale tourist segment," Mr Gilding said.
The Bangalow Progress Association is also unhappy with Roads and Maritime Services, particularly over the decision to direct Lismore-bound traffic down the Bangalow-Lismore Rd instead of the highway.
"Bangalow residents are shocked and angry," the association's president said.
"The signposting to Lismore avoiding the highway is contrary to all RMS justifications for spending over $800 million on the T2E upgrade."