Emergency services at the scene of a crash involving a motorbike and a van near the intersection of the Bruxner Highway and Ballina Rd at Alstonville last Monday.
Emergency services at the scene of a crash involving a motorbike and a van near the intersection of the Bruxner Highway and Ballina Rd at Alstonville last Monday. Marc Stapelberg

MP promised widow deadly Alstonville bypass will be fixed

IMMEDIATE action is being taken to investigate how a deadly stretch of the Bruxner Highway can be fixed. 

The RMS is set to undertake a safety audit on the Alstonville Bypass after an urgent meeting was held yesterday. 

Greens MP for Ballina Tamara Smith, who called the meeting after last week's fatal crash, was determined an outcome would be identified after the meeting, which involved the Local Traffic Committee and extra community leaders.

RMS staff have begun a traffic count and will conduct a further safety audit.

"We will meet again in a month to see what options they're putting on the table," Ms Smith said.

Hopeful Nationals candidate for Ballina, Ben Franklin, yesterday announced Roads Minister Melinda Pavey had accepted his invitation to visit the notorious location.

Ms Smith said she was "heartened" by news Roads Minister Melinda Pavey would visit the site after last week's fatal incident and has since invited Ms Pavey to their next meeting in a month's time.

"The group looks forward to meeting her on her visit here to discuss quick action on what can be done to make this intersection as safe as possible," she said.

"The last thing we want is a minister making an announcement without consulting the Local Traffic Committee and without consulting the community on this local traffic issue." 

Ms Smith said she had promised the widow of the motorcyclist killed in last Monday's crash that she would continue to push for action.

"What I'm going to be guided by is safety," she said.

"There's too many people who have lost their lives and been hurt there to accept that's how it's going to stay."

At yesterday's meeting, police told the group there had been 10 crashes at the Ballina Rd junction, and 26 on the bypass, in the past two years.

"That is, to me, unacceptable," Ms Smith said.

Ms Smith said Highway Patrol officers, Ballina Shire Council staff and councillors and RMS Northern Regional Manager John Alexander attended yesterday's meeting.

"The police message to the public is a reminder to drive to the conditions, whether it is rain, a busy intersection or sun strike, please take conditions you find yourself in into account when driving," she said. 

Ballina Shire mayor David Wright said RMS traffic counters were in place when he was returning home from the meeting yesterday. 

Meanwhile, he's welcomed Ms Pavey's plans to visit.

"What they do will depend on the cost-benefit ratio," Cr Wright said.

"If the minister comes up and has a look at the situation, it can't hurt."

Cr Wright said it was positive to see the RMS had "taken it seriously" along with other parties.

"I appreciate Ben (Franklin)'s got connections and it's fantastic that he can bring the minister up and I think that's really important," he said.

"I appreciate Tamara and I appreciate Ben for doing what they can."

 

"The group looks forward to meeting her on her visit here to discuss quick action on what can be done to make this intersection as safe as possible," she said.