Editorial - Friday, October 18: Don’t delay on bypass

ONE road in and one road out.

Hardly the ideal situation for a growing coastal town and popular tourist destination.

When a car accident effectively shut down all access to Yamba on Wednesday afternoon, it highlighted a gaping hole in planning and infrastructure - an oversight that needs to be addressed, and sooner rather than later.

For Yamba's residents, and the many people who commute along Yamba Road, the fact one disruption can effectively leave the town isolated is simply not good enough.

It's heartening to hear Mayor Richie Williamson say a bypass is on the agenda, but disappointing it won't happen anytime soon. And as he points out in Lachlan Thompson's story, Yamba is not the only town in the valley with one-road access.

Wooli, Minnie Water, Brooms Head, and Iluka are all in a similar situation.

Having moved to Byron Bay almost 20 years ago, I can recall the debate in 1994 as arguments were made for a town bypass.

Back then, many predicted the affect that population growth and tourism would have on Byron Bay and yet still nothing has been done to combat the problem.

The congestion in and out of Byron's town centre is so bad during peak seasons and busy weekends, traffic can bank back to the highway.

Which is why I think it's so important to address these problems now, in Yamba and elsewhere, so we don't look back in 20 years and wonder, 'what were we thinking?'

Kate Matthews

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