FORUM CELEBRATION: Neale Bathersby and Beth Morrow from the Northern Rivers Railway Action Group with forum audience cutting the cake to celebrate the 160th Anniversary of the NSW Government Railways.
FORUM CELEBRATION: Neale Bathersby and Beth Morrow from the Northern Rivers Railway Action Group with forum audience cutting the cake to celebrate the 160th Anniversary of the NSW Government Railways. Contributed

Train of thought at Ocean Shores transport forum

LAST weekend's Ocean Shores Community Association (OSCA) Trains and Transport Forum was attended by about 50 people looking at transport options for the north of the shire.

The meeting unanimously agreed that as a boost to the shire's tourist industry and to meet the needs of many of the area's 7000 residents, a rail services was needed.

There was also a call for bikeway/walkways to be built on the railway corridor adjacent to the rail line, according to the OSCA's Jill Spring.

"The meeting asked for all concerned community organisations, politicians and government agencies involved to work together to achieve a 21st century outcome," she said.

"This would result in far more convenient transport services and the reduction of traffic congestion and emissions."

Ocean Shores resident Margaret Kelly told the meeting of the difficulty for the town's senior residents needing to access medical services by public transport if they are no longer able to drive a car.

She said the Tweed, Byron and Ballina Community Transport (1300 875 895) could be used for medical transport but the Countrylink bus was the only option if you lived more than 40kms from your destination.

"But the Countrylink bus does not come into Ocean Shores, instead people are dropped off on the old highway even at night with no bus shelter or lighting," she said.

The meeting called upon the Countrylink service and the Byron Council to work together to urgently arrange for the Countrylink bus to drop off and take passengers at the Rajah Rd bus stop at the shopping centre.

Brunswick Valley and Blanch's bus services sent a message to the meeting asking for a proposal for bus schedules that would meet the needs of the Ocean Shores area.

The meeting also resolved to ask that the timetables of any new bus service and the new Elements train service be co-ordinated.

OSCA plans to continue consulting with the local community on this as part of the future Ocean Shores and area neighbourhood plan.

The next OSCA meeting is at 7pm on Monday, October 9 at the Grace Community Church.


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