River St project ’will be a disaster’, residents warn
THERE is a decommissioned road running beside the Pacific Motorway at Ballina that would link the north and western areas and significantly reduce congestion through town, according to a group of longstanding residents.
The Western Bypass Sub-Committee of the Ballina Ratepayers Association are urging council to dump the River Street duplication, and start work on a western arterial road.
“Once a western bypass gets built there will be a realisation of how much traffic will run along it,” Alan Brown said.
They believe the River Street duplication and bridge projects are too costly, will cause great disturbance to residents and take too much time.
“Council advertised the four-laning proposal right on Christmas when everyone was on holidays and received 23 submissions, 22 of which are against the proposal,” Denis Magnay said.
“We are seeking a special meeting with the council’s traffic committee so we can present our reason for believing the four-laning proposal will be a disaster.”
They support council’s proposal to build a link road between Flathead Lane and Barlows Road, however they think the best solution is to use the unused service road beside the highway.
“You don’t have to be a Rhodes scholar to work out the closer to the highway this road is, the better,” Ken Johnston said.
“The service road is our first choice.”
It is currently locked up, its surface is riddled with potholes and it is prone to flooding.
“Floods only occur periodically, they can detour traffic in that case,” Mr Brown said.
They are resigned to the fact the RMS will not be building a southbound on ramp or a northbound off ramp to the Pacific Motorway at the Cumbalum interchange, and will accept this as long as the western arterial road comes to fruition.
“It was great to hear general manager Paul Hickey say that council is now seriously considering a western arterial road, it’s a move in the right direction,” Mr Brown said.
Mr Brown was on council in 1998 when the plans were originally slated, and set aside, as the then RTA said it might not bypass Ballina if council were to build the road.
Now traffic has increased dramatically and it’s time.
“It will suit everyone, particularly older motorists looking to get from one side of town to the other and not wanting to go on the highway,” Mr Brown said.