Welcome noises from RTA
THERE is a risk of reading too much into the Roads and Traffic Authority’s announcement that it is to resume its consultation process into a second bridge in Grafton, but the signs are good.
Firstly, the announcement was made by the RTA and not by politicians in the lead-up to an election.
As we saw from the ‘iron clad guarantee’ from former NSW Premier Bob Carr, political promises can amount to nothing.
So as this announcement has nothing to do with political grandstanding, it appears to be based solely on the RTA’s assessment that the existing bridge is inadequate.
Anyone who uses the bridge regularly, particularly during peak periods, would agree.
In its traffic study into a second crossing of the Clarence River at Grafton, the RTA found that doing nothing was not an option, meaning something has to be done.
In fact it probably knew that in 2003 when Carr made his promise. Traffic forecasts then showed that it would be only about 15 years before bridge traffic reached gridlock.
We can be reassured, too, that much of the preliminary work has been done on the siting of a new bridge and that much of the community consultation that went with the consideration of sites in 2003 has been completed.
But we also need to maintain pressure for a bridge so the current momentum is not lost.
We need to maintain pressure so momentum for a new bridge is not lost