From today, road users exiting Alstonville will no longer be allowed to turn right towards Lismore out of Ballina Road on to the Bruxner Highway between 3pm and 6pm each day according to a letter sent to residents sent by the RMS and NSW government.
Member for Ballina Tamara Smith says she has received complaints about the rule already.
“I’ve had constituents say this move is going to increase traffic back through Alstonville’s Main Street – reducing that was the whole point of building the Alstonville Bypass in the first place. The increased traffic will also be going past the school safety crossing during the peak hours when the three local schools let students out. Another constituent said they believed that bus operators and senior citizens had not been given enough notice of the right hand turn ban,” said Ms Smith.
“One constituent said ‘It is not hard - spend the money and build a decent “fly over” at both ends of the Alstonville bypass’ and I agree with that completely.
“The results of my community survey, which over 1,000 residents returned, showed that people in Alstonville and Wollongbar feel unsafe at the Alstonville intersection.
“The RMS and the Minister need to be urgently looking at funding and planning a proper, safe interchange for this intersection, with overpasses and underpasses so that the population of the Alstonville – Wollongbar Plateau can feel safe entering and exiting Alstonville.
“One of my constituents said the right hand turn ban is a band aid solution and that’s really what it is – an adjustment of the lanes and a no right turn for three hours a day would have more community acceptance if these were just the beginning of a wider plan to make that intersection safe, but it’s not.
“After the tragic deaths at that stretch of road and the Transport Minister’s public commitment that cost would not be a factor in making the intersection safer, I find it hard to believe that more cannot be done.
“I call on the Minister for Roads to give our community a full interchange. We deserve the safest solution possible and if the NSW government can spend exorbitant amounts on stadiums and Westconnex in Sydney they can also afford to fix an unsafe intersection that should have been built better in the first place.”