Bridge survey upset

BOB Cairns is seriously concerned by the distribution method and timing of an RTA postal survey concerning a second crossing of the Clarence River at Grafton – a survey that garnered a response rate of less than 5%.

According to the Concerned Citizens Group spokesman, the 9500 surveys asking Grafton residents to indicate their preferred bridge location should not have been distributed during holidays.

He said the survey – about a huge issue affecting Grafton – was also poorly distributed by the RTA.

“It was tucked inconspicuously inside the Clarence Valley Review,” he said.

“We were concerned because some people don't even open the Review.”

He said at a recent presentation to almost 100 members of the Grafton U3A, 75% indicated they hadn't seen the survey.

Before the survey was distributed, the citizens group met with the RTA to request the survey not be conducted during holidays.

Mr Cairns said the result of 437 completed surveys proved the survey was conducted at the wrong time.

“The results certainly indicate the preference for an out-of-town option, with most people favouring a North St location,” he said.

“We are very disappointed with the resulting 437 responses out of 9500 surveys.”

An RTA representative would not confirm whether 9500 surveys were distributed.

The representative said the surveys were distributed using the Clarence Valley Review, via letterbox drops to residents and businesses, at information sessions and staffed information displays in shopping centres and RTA offices in Grafton.

“Responses to the survey were invited between December 6, 2010, and February 8, 2011, allowing people to participate in and out of the holiday period,” the representative said.

“The survey response to date has been very encouraging and the RTA thanks all those who have sent in their ideas and opinions.”

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