Roads in Byron Shire
Council's local road network consists of 496km of road made up of:
137 km of sealed urban roads
262 km of rural sealed roads
97 km of rural unsealed roads
Included in this network are 11 timber, 19 concrete and 1 steel bridges.
Like many country local government areas Byron Shire Council struggles to maintain the road network in good condition. This is made even more difficult because the rural areas of the Shire are some of the most heavily populated in the country. The high levels of traffic generated by tourists compound the problem.
One of the questions Council is always asked is why rural roads cannot have traffic calming schemes installed to reduce traffic speeds.
One of the objectives of the RTA's Speed Zoning procedure is to ensure there is a uniformity of speed zones across the State by treating roads of a similar standard and usage in a consistent manner. The general speed limit of 100km/h applies to most of Byron Shire's rural roads.
Drivers experience a consistent approach across the State and do not expect to come across traffic calming on a rural road under the general limit of 100km/h. Additionally, the lack of street lighting in rural areas can make traffic calming schemes a hazard to drivers.
Generally, the requests for traffic calming in rural areas come from areas with a higher density of housing.
The speed zoning assessment process takes this into account by assessing the roadside environment and the number of vehicles and pedestrians using the road. This may result in the recommendation of a lower speed zone at a locality with a higher density of housing.