Western by­pass could be road of the fu­ture

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - NEWS - JA­NINE WAT­SON Ja­nine.Wat­son@coff­s­coas­tad­vo­cate.com.au

DIS­CUS­SIONS at the by­pass pub­lic meet­ing on Thurs­day evening soon turned to the pos­si­bil­ity of re­vis­it­ing the far western by­pass op­tion but many cau­tioned against this ap­proach.

As Mem­ber for Coffs Har­bour An­drew Fraser pointed out, many were against the cur­rent ‘coastal route’ and pushed for a route fur­ther west.

“The first thing I want to make clear is that back in 2004 peo­ple like Keith Rhoades and I fought for a western by­pass. The ma­jor­ity of coun­cil­lors re­jected a coastal route so as far as I would say this cur­rent pro­posal is a ring road and not the far western by­pass we wanted,” he said. “I ob­jected but we’re stuck with it and what we’ve got to do is get the best out of a bad de­ci­sion.”

Coun­cil­lor and Greens can­di­date for Cow­per Sally Town­ley also urged the com­mu­nity to make the most of the sit­u­a­tion and fo­cus on the is­sue of get­ting tun­nels back on the agenda.

“The plan­ning hori­zon for any ma­jor by­pass takes many many years. This in­cludes route in­ves­ti­ga­tion, se­lec­tion, land ac­qui­si­tion, im­pact stud­ies and plan­ning ap­provals and much more,” she said.

“The Coffs by­pass has com­pleted a large amount of work, and with im­prove­ment on the con­cept de­sign, namely by in­clud­ing the tun­nels, it can be­gin soon.

“As our pop­u­la­tion grows, we will likely need a new traf­fic so­lu­tion within a gen­er­a­tion. Let the western by­pass be the road for the fu­ture and the in­ner by­pass be the road for now.”

By the end of the evening, a pe­ti­tion that called for tun­nels in­stead of cut­tings had been al­tered to in­clude a call to re­visit the western by­pass.

Photo: Ja­nine Wat­son

NEW PLAN: Dawn and Paul Thomas and An­nette Camp­bell look at the most re­cent by­pass plans at the pub­lic meet­ing.

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