OPENING SOON: The new Shell service station on the corner of Yamba Rd and Treelands Dr, Yamba.
OPENING SOON: The new Shell service station on the corner of Yamba Rd and Treelands Dr, Yamba. Jarrard Potter

Council responds to Yamba servo traffic concerns

WITH the new service station in Yamba set to open soon, Clarence Valley Council has responded to community concerns over traffic at the intersection of Treelands Dr and Yamba Rd.

On Facebook, many locals were critical of the service station's location on the corner of an already busy intersection, and the impact it would have on traffic flow.

Ben Roberts: Not a hope in hell the majority of folk exiting Treelands are going to let the servo folk in. Imagine turning right onto Treelands. Going to be a disaster.

Maureen Venn: Anyone who has to negotiate this intersection on a daily basis knows its going to be a nightmare. The only way to control traffic would be lights this would also allow pedestrians to cross the road and people living nearby on Yamba Rd can exit their driveways in a timely fashion.

Nerida Cruickshank: Absolute mayhem not only at this intersection but in surrounding streets as people avoid this area. Should never have been allowed.

Ash Higgins: After seeing it for the first time the other day where the entry and exit is, it will be an absolute nightmare during heavy traffic periods like the Christmas holidays. Both the entry and exit should have been onto Yamba road. I can't see how cars will be able to get in and out of there without causing issues especially since the intersection isn't governed by lights or a roundabout.

Kathy Lawrence: It is a bit of a nightmare intersection already then add the service station to that and oh dear. Unfortunately it could result in your family or friends being involved in one of the many accidents that will happen. Town planning at its worst. Yamba is going to grow and there is no way to stop that progress so at least progress sensibly for the benefit of your beautiful town.

There were some supporters of the service station, who believed the problem won't be a problem for very long.

Hayden Lowe: Not a bad location and it's in a similar location like the BP in Grafton. Really wouldn't create that much of an issue.

Judy Patterson: If they drive the right way to the road rules it will be ok.

Garry Bailey: After the first week or two people will not have any problems. If you don't like the access well go to a different servo. No one is making you use it.

A Clarence Valley Council spokesperson said despite the community's concerns over the impact the service station's opening would have on traffic at the notorious intersection, it was currently not their problem.

"A traffic management plan is not needed for the opening of the new service station in Yamba, but a roundabout is to be constructed at the site," the spokesperson said.

"That roundabout is one of a number of traffic management improvements that will be done along Yamba Road to cope with increased local and tourist traffic. Council will consider quotes for the design of the Yamba Road/Treelands Drive roundabout at its August meeting."

Service station development

WHILE it may seem like the newest service station in Yamba has sprung up overnight, the development has been in the pipeline since 2015 when Clarence Valley Council approved a planning proposal to rezone two residential blocks to form the site.

In 2016 opposition to the development started to gain traction, and a Yamba businessman took to social media to oppose the development.

The developers soon fired back with a salvo of their own, saying is their service station was bad for their business, they should lift their game.

By 2017 community opposition to the service station development had grown into a campaign Say No to Yamba Traffic Lights, fuelled by the DA's inclusion of a set of traffic lights at the Treelands Dr and Yamba Rd intersection.

However in the end the DA ticked all the boxes, and in July 2017, despite a petition against the DA which gained more than 1000 signatures, the council voted 6-3 to approve the DA.

The roundabout v traffic lights debate continued for another year. After initially voting in favour of the controversial traffic light plan, a rescission motion was passed by council where the roundabout option gained favour.

The cost of the roundabout is yet to be determined, though it could be more expensive than initially thought.