TIGHT SQUEEZE: Great Marlow Rd is looking more like a cliff edge, with banks slipping into the river. Photo: Georja Ryan
TIGHT SQUEEZE: Great Marlow Rd is looking more like a cliff edge, with banks slipping into the river. Photo: Georja Ryan

Erosion puts motorists on edge

TAKE a drive down Great Marlow Rd, about 5-10km north-east of Grafton and you'll feel the sudden urge to suck in your breath and grit your teeth.

In some sections of the single-lane road, the riverbank has been so severely eroded that driving a few inches to the side could see you plunge off the bank and into the river.

Those who live along the road fear the days when someone is hurt, or even killed.

"The main issue is, if two cars come along, where do you go?" Great Marlow Rd resident Therese Waghorn said.

"There are no lights along here, so at night you don't realise this edge drops off and you'll go straight over.

"I've got a terrible feeling that someone's going to miss the bend and go straight into the drink."

Mrs Waghorn said with no solid tree roots in the worst sections the banks would continue to slip into the river and get closer to the road.

"All there is is this bamboo-like stuff, which just makes the bank droop and is worse off," she said.

Kathleen Baker, who also lives on Great Marlow Rd, said the bank was so weak she doubted it could hold a car driven right out to the edge.

It needed to be rocked to hold the land in place.

Mrs Baker said she had submitted a petition to the Clarence Valley Council in November to have the speed limit reduced from 100kmh to 60kmh.

"It's too fast, it needs to be reduced. Someone is going to go over the edge," Mrs Baker said.

"I was told it was approved through council straight away and it was now with RMS (Roads and Maritime Service) so I let it go a few months."

After months of trying to get onto the council about whether the speed limit was going to be dropped, Mrs Baker was told the council "forgot" to send the details off to RMS.

"That was about six weeks ago," Mrs Baker said.

"Everyone keeps passing the buck but it needs fixing now."



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