Short-term fix of dangerous road not enough: Locals
WHILE the government has revealed a short-term fix to address the "droves" of calls for a major safety upgrade of the Bruxner Hwy, local residents say it's not enough to save lives.
Retired Lismore Base Hospital chief radiographer Denys Wynn spent much of his 34-year career taking x-rays of badly injured crash victims of the dangerous stretch between Lismore and Ballina, including the Alphadale crossroads.
The Richmond Hill resident welcomed the government's plan to install 16 warning signs near the crossroads, but said it was an admission the stretch needs major work to bring it up to a standard that motorists deserve.
"Their reaction proves they recognise there is a large and definite problem there," Mr Wynn said.
"This is a very interim step, there needs to be a grade-separated intersection built at the crossroads ... that's what we need, that's what's safest."
He said the tentative plans to change the speed limit to 60km/h before and after the crossroads would not do much.
"It will only make it harder for people to progress along that road," he said.
"It's another admission by the government that the intersection and surrounding roads design and or construction is not up to standard.
"It needs to be fixed properly."
He agreed with Lismore MP Janelle Saffin's proposed plan to realign the Bruxner Hwy to bypass the crossroads, but said it should be streamlined as the Pacific Hwy works were nearing completion.
He praised campaigning from the media, MsSaffin and the community for a safer Bruxner Hwy.
"This is the way democracy works, we have the chance to respectfully voice our concerns about important issues," he said.
"When you see a campaign, such as The Northern Star's work on this, the government can't help but notice that and react to it.
"Well done Northern Star."
In the two-and-a-half years he has lived on the Bruxner Hwy, Kevin Riddell has witnessed plenty of crashes near his property, which borders Cowlong Rd at the Alphadale crossroads.
He agreed the warning signs were a start, but was adamant that extending the 60km/h zone from Richmond Hill in the interim before promised major works got under way was the "only option".
"The signs are better than nothing but it's certainly not what's required to stop lives being lost, wildlife being killed and people being abused," he said.
"The 60km/h is not unrealistic ... it's 1.4km and a residential stretch with terrible access, and a tragic crash history."