DETERMINED: Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey is keen to do something to improve a blackspot near Alstonville.
DETERMINED: Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey is keen to do something to improve a blackspot near Alstonville. Marc Stapelberg

Traffic lights 'still on the table' for deadly bypass

WHEN asked how many fatalities it would take before traffic lights would be installed on a deadly stretch of Bruxner Highway, NSW Roads Minister Melinda Pavey said the option was being considered.

Earlier on Wednesday morning Ms Pavey and Parliamentary secretary for the Northern NSW Ben Franklin, joined Roads and Maritime Services North Region manager John Alexander and Ballina Mayor David Wright at the notorious Alstonville intersection to discuss solutions for the deadly bypass.

Ms Pavey said cost would not be a factor in making the intersection safer.

Mr Franklin said he was pleased the minister came to inspect the site of the tragic crash at Alstonville.

"Next week flashing light signage will be installed to warn people of the dangerous intersection," he said.

"Secondly, we will very quickly put in a new east-bound turning lane by the end of October if possible, so they (drivers) turning into Alstonville are less likely to be be visually impaired."

Mr Alexander said a number of options were being considered for the deadly intersection and RMS staff are currently undertaking a traffic count and safety audit.

"Traffic lights are not off the table," he said

"We are doing something here short-term for the next couple of months... we have talked about traffic lights and roundabouts, but we want to do something now, while we work out what best for the medium and long term."

 

Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey with Parlimentary Secretary for the North Coast Ben Franklin discuss the Saving Lives on Country Roads program.
Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey with Parlimentary Secretary for the North Coast Ben Franklin discuss the Saving Lives on Country Roads program. Marc Stapelberg

Speaking at the intersection of Bangalow Rd and Eureka Rd, Clunes, where a number of serious motor vehicle crashes have occurred, Ms Pavey said she was visiting the region to announce round one comprising $50 million to be used on 97 projects across NSW as part of the Saving Lives on Country Roads program.

She said in the 2018/19 Budget, the NSW Government announced $1.9 billion in dedicated road safety initiatives over five years, which includes $640 million to save lives on country roads through targeted safety infrastructure upgrades.

"We have some real challenges in regional NSW, we have one-third of the state's population and two-thirds of the road toll," she said.

"We are also going to resolve in the very short-term the issues in the intersection at Alstonville."