Byron Bay bypass on the road to delivery
The Byron Bay town centre bypass will remain on the Butler Street alignment.
Debated again yesterday at Byron Shire Council’s meeting, the motion to look at costing the bypass in the rail corridor was not supported.
Mayor Simon Richardson said whilst he recognised that some residents within Butler Streets would not be happy, it was time to get on with traffic solutions for Byron Bay.
“We’ve said from the beginning that the town centre bypass will not solve our traffic woes, but it is part of the solution for keeping cars out.
“For residents and workers travelling from Sunrise to Suffolk Park, not getting stuck in traffic could take up to tens of minutes off a trip and help improve traffic flow.
“Council does not own the rail corridor and suggestions that the state government would willingly give away, or heavily discount, prime real estate in the middle of Byron Bay is highly unlikely. And we can’t invest millions of ratepayer funds into a project, when Council does not own the land.
“Over the years Council and the community has looked at where the road should be placed. We resolved back in 2014 on the Butler Street alignment.
“We’ve spent $2 million in preparing for construction. We’ve successfully defended this decision at a cost of $450,000.
“Roads aren’t sexy but by keeping them out of the town centre, we are supporting our adopted Byron Bay Town Centre Masterplan.
“As the plan highlights, the rail corridor could be become a key open space feature of our town if we can take down the fences and keep it as a social space. A place for residents to gather. This can only happen if we keep the cars out.
“It’s time to get on with the job,” Mayor Richardson said.
Points raised in the Council report about a bypass on the rail corridor included:
- Council has been advised that the rail corridor is not wide enough for a multi modal transport route.
- Wetland clearing of native vegetation would still be required even if the bypass went within the rail corridor.
- Heritage outcomes would be worse due to the impact on the Railway Precinct Conservation Area including the State listed Railway Station and yard.
- Cost to mitigate traffic noise would increase due to it being closer to Byron town centre and businesses.
- Cost to complete a full construction cost of a road in the rail corridor would take at least 12 months to prepare and cost about $1 million.
- Council would likely have to forfeit the $10.5 million in RMS funding which was provided exclusively for the Butler Street bypass.
- Council has already spent $2 million to date in preparing for construction and another $450,000 defending the project in court.
You can read more within the 22 June Council agenda at http://byron.infocouncil.biz/Open/2017/06/OC_22062017_AGN_607.PDF