City of lights

JUST what Coffs Harbour needs more traffic lights along the Pacific Highway.

But that, according to Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser, is exactly what the RTA has in mind.

He claims the RTA is 'organising what needs to be done' to put traffic lights at the Pacific Highway Diggers Beach Road intersection, near the Big Banana.

If he's right, motorists negotiating the highway through Coffs Harbour will have to contend with no less than 12 sets of traffic lights.

"To my knowledge the RTA are in the design stage for traffic lights at that intersection, and they've gone out to public consultation," Mr Fraser said.

"They have been looking at traffic solutions for that area for a while apparently, but it appears they've foregone looking at other options."

Traffic lights at Diggers Beach Road would be dangerous, he said.

"Whilst it may give a perception of safer ingress and egress near the Big Banana, it would in fact increase the opportunity for rear end accidents.

"It would also increase truck noise due to the necessity to change gears up to 24 times if trucks are required to stop at the traffic lights.

"Heavy vehicles travelling north would find themselves coming around a blind corner with stationary traffic in front of them, and any evasive action could prove disastrous."

Mr Fraser said restricting right-hand turns from Diggers Beach Rd, and improving the entrance and exit from the Big Banana, were preferable.

"Coffs Harbour becomes gridlocked in every major holiday period due to the large number of traffic lights, and putting yet another set on Macauleys Headland in such a dangerous position would only increase this problem," he said.

It was his guess the further development of the Big Banana site, and perhaps the increased use of Diggers Beach, were the RTA's justifications for traffic lights.

"But while we've got the Pacific Highway operating the way it is, no thank you," Mr Fraser said.

A Coffs Harbour City Council spokeswoman said the council was aware the RTA was investigating traffic lights at that intersection as an option.

"But we haven't been advised that that is the option they've chosen, and we certainly aren't aware of what the process is from here on in, and we haven't seen any designs or plans," she said.!

* What do you think about traffic lights at the intersection of the Pacific Highway and Diggers Beach Road? Send your comments to editorial@coffscoastadvocate.com.au.



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