Heavy traffic in Byron Bay on Monday, November 23, 2020. Picture: Liana Boss
Heavy traffic in Byron Bay on Monday, November 23, 2020. Picture: Liana Boss

‘Collective breath’ needed over Byron’s traffic woes: Mayor

THE Byron mayor acknowledged a "terrible mistake" led to traffic bedlam last week.

He made the comment while a motion targeting the Byron Shire's traffic flow was being debated.

Cr Alan Hunter raised a motion with a view to have the shire's traffic moving at one kilometre every minute on average at the council's ordinary meeting on Thursday.

Cr Hunter said "the genesis" of this idea was a recent council workshop involving Transport for NSW.


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"In this workshop we decided we should have a vision and we didn't settle on a vision," Cr Hunter said.

He said traffic in Ewingsdale Rd was "a dog's breakfast at best".

"It shouldn't be unreasonable to expect … leadership on an issue like this," he said.

Cr Cameron opposed this, saying the idea could encourage people to be "zooming around the shire trying to meet a time deadline".

"The signs I mainly see around the roads is things like 'drive to conditions' and that's something we all have a responsibility to do," Cr Cameron said.

Cr Paul Spooner said it would be reasonable to seek data on the issue.

Mayor Simon Richardson spoke against the motion.

"I totally agree with where you're getting at," he said to Cr Hunter.

"Maybe we also need to take a collective breath and understand what's really important in life.

"I understand we made a terrible mistake on Tuesday with Ewingsdale Rd which we should apologise for, rather than blame Schoolies.

"We generally have a couple of responses. We call council or the local ABC or yell at our kids or something.

"Then we get to our destination and 10 minutes later we've forgotten it.

"Is there anything actually wrong with the fact we've got one road (into Byron) and a lot of cars?

"Is that the greatest tragedy on the planet? I think we just need to rethink transport."

Crs Hunter, Spooner and deputy mayor Michael Lyon voted for the motion, and all others voted against it.