In September, Tamara Smith, Member for Ballina sent out a survey to more than 4,500 households in and around Alstonville and Wollongbar about the Ballina Road and Sneaths Road intersections with the Bruxner Highway.
More than 1,000 surveys were returned and found the majority of respondents felt unsafe or very unsafe at both intersections.
For the Sneaths Road intersection with the Bruxner at Wollongbar, 39% of respondents favoured a roundabout, 29 % wanted an overpass/underpass interchange and 16% wanted traffic lights, while 16% favoured other options such as a speed limit reduction to 60km, speed cameras and for motorists to simply take care and drive to the conditions.
For the Ballina Road intersection with the Bruxner at Alstonville, 32% of respondents want a full overpass/underpass interchange, about the same amount (33 %) want a roundabout and 20% want traffic lights. 15 % suggested other solutions such as traffic speed cameras, lowering the speed limit to 60km in the area or making traffic use the on and off ramps at Kay’s Lane further up the Highway.
The Liberal-National government and the RMS have applied a few band aids in the name of safety to the fatal intersection at Alstonville with the Bruxner Highway.
While the right hand turn ban daily from 3pm-6pm has gotten some attention with the negative response to it (and the lack of any enforcement of the new rule) the new Give Way sign for motorists entering Alstonville travelling from Lismore is causing more confusion.
Previously there was no Give Way sign there and motorists on both sides of the highway are now confused about which traffic is and is not giving way – which makes another accident very likely at the intersection.
"I want a gold standard solution for this intersection – one that should have been built in the first place. I want a full interchange - fully separated on and off ramps for traffic to ensure the greatest possible safety for motorists," said Tamara Smith, Member for Ballina.
"It’s what the motoring public deserve and it’s what the relatives of those who have died on this stretch of road need to ensure more families do not go through the heartache of losing a loved one.
"This is something I will be continuing to campaign for.
"Take care this Christmas and New Year’s holidays and please drive safely," said Ms Smith.