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To preserve and enhance the cultural environmental and social sustainability of the Tyagarah Area and its inhabitants

« Australian | Main | Trucks off the Pacific Highway - please sign the submission »

September 14, 2005

Grays lane potholls

Robert Bleakley has been in correspondence and meeting with council about the state of Grays Lane - his correspondence is attached.

Col Hadwell
Road Maintenance Division
Byron Shire Council


Dear Mr.Hadwell

Re: Grays Lane

I have spoken to you on previous occasions concerning the need for regular maintenance of this much used road.

The road is in an appalling state right now and is made dangerous by the fact that drivers are forced to frequently change sides of the road to avoid the worst patches. The other potholes in the bitumen at the corner of Prestons Lane and commencement of the dirt on Grays Lane are especially bad and one could clearly see the legal liability which this places upon Council in the event of what is an inevitable accident, caused by these holes.

This thoroughfare carries a weight of traffic greatly in excess of that generated by residents but is on the same maintenance schedule as other dirt roads in the shire which service only residents. This unjust situation impacts adversely on the interests of residents in terms of excessive wear and tear on their vehicles and loss of amenity.

Please advise me when the road will be deep-ripped ; graded and rolled , a simple surface grading job is not adequate.

I look forward also to receiving responses to the following:

Query: A traffic volumes study was carried out recently, what were the findings ?

Has a study been carried out contrasting the differing volumes of traffic during the summer and winter months; holiday weekends etc. 

Has the frequency of grading the dirt section decreased over the past two to three years ?

What is the cost of properly grading and rolling the gravel section ?

How frequently is new road base brought in ?

Has a study been done comparing the ongoing maintenance cost of the dirt road with
cost of constructing a concrete road able to withstand flooding ?

Has Council considered the option of bitumen sealing the middle section which does not go under water and using concrete at either end ?

What is the recommended limit on traffic volumes before a road is sealed ?

Are there plans to build speed bumps or otherwise protect against the increased risk of accident where the new subdivision driveway enters the road ? Driveways exiting onto Grays Lane already make the road dangerous.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Bleakley

Council's letter in response is here

And Robert reports ...

Last Thursday 8th September I had a meeting with Michael King, Manager of Infrastructure Planning concerning the failure of Council to maintain Grays Lane adequately. John Foss Tel: 66 84 1850 who is a professional Town Planner and Landscape Architect attended the meeting with the intention of determining what Council policy is with regard to the above and of advising on a strategy to achieve a satisfactory outcome.

The letter below in response to many previous communications with Council underscores the high level of usage of Grays Lane, 355 per day in Oct. 04; considerably higher on summer weekends. No reference is made to National Parks and Wildlife sharing the cost of maintenance although this point was raised in my letters and without access to the beach and Tyagarah Nature Reserve, the level of residents usage would be minuscule in comparison.

Apart from safety issues (corrugations and potholes cause drivers to choose the less damaged side of the road , particularly on the bend over the first creek; drivers in a hurry to get to the beach travel the road at excessive speeds on this unmarked road, even National Parks have had the wisdom to put 40km. signs in the Tyagarah Nature Reserve section of the road, Byron Council either disagree with this or believe current arrangements are satisfactory. The flood markers are grotesquely inaccurate and represent a very real danger at flood times).
Without deep-ripping the road and bringing in high quality road base the road deteriorates quickly; the maintenance schedule should relate to season and to weather events rather than simply being on a rostered basis which is irregular and even then, not adhered to. The erratic account of maintenance in 2003/04
in point 4 of the attached letter points to the absence of a proper plan.
There are many other points which need to be addressed. I would welcome feedback from residents as to suggested means of remedying this problem,
I am exploring legal remedies, especially as they relate to health and safety issues. There are other points around the increased costs to residents of undue wear and tear on their vehicles.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Bleakle

Posted at September 14, 2005 10:49 PM

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