Think rail as well as roads, says Cox



CHARLIE COX says the Northern Rivers needs a new way of solving its transport problems.

The Richmond Valley mayor said he supported NOROC's stance on upgrading the Pacific Highway and bypassing Ballina, but 'we've got to be thinking in terms of rail as well as roads'.

Cr Cox said the proposed western route for the highway, from Bangalow to Grafton, was a stopgap solution that was vague and questionable.

However, he would consider using the Summerland Highway as a truck route to take pressure off the Pacific Highway.

He was not opposed to the inland route but said it was 'a little broader' than just taking trucks off the highway.

He said the road north of Kyogle was 'crying out for major work to facilitate movements of traffic, particularly transport'.

"For too long we've focused on the New England and Pacific Highway as the major routes into Queensland," Cr Cox said.

Ballina MP Don Page supported an integrated transport strategy.

"Part of the inland proposal upgrades the Summerland Way to dual carriageway, which is also consistent with a longer-term plan to have freight movements north through to Beaudesert," Mr Page said.

"We think we can have an inland freight route as part of that transport strategy."



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