Byron residents railing against Butler Street bypass plan

BYRON Bay residents who have been pushing to use the rail corridor for a bypass road around the town's CBD say they will fight a council staff recommendation to use Butler St as a bypass route.

A staff report before Byron Shire councillors this week recommends the council support a bypass route that would continue Butler St from the police station, Shirley St roundabout on the western side of the rail corridor to end at Mitre 10.

Community group Grab the Rails says a Butler St bypass route would have negative effects on traffic in the town centre, as well as an impact on the Butler Street Reserve market grounds and residents.

"This will turn a back street with about 80 cars a day into a major road which will have 3080 cars a day," Butler St home owner and Grab the Rail founder, Paul Jones, said.

"They can't run a main road down a back street and not deal with the issues of noise, traffic hazards and impact on heritage buildings. There's no way of mitigating those factors at Butler St.

"We need to avoid the roundabout at Shirley St - it's already a choking bottleneck and anything that pushes more traffic there is just nonsense."

Mr Jones said his group was now going to "swing into action" to oppose the Butler St route and called on Byron Shire councillors not to support the staff proposal.

Grab the Rail believes the rail corridor would be wide enough to accommodate both light rail, rail trail and traffic - a mixed mode transit corridor approach - and the State Government's current feasibility study into the rail corridor will open up bypass possibilities


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