Council will examine all road options

RESIDENTS of South Arm Road, Urunga, were enormously relieved yesterday to hear Bellingen Shire Council was examining options to improve the section of road where a school bus plunged over an embankment in September, tragically killing one of the young students on board.

Carleen Lillford, mother of two children who were on the bus, said although the children had been stoic getting back into their travel routine, every day they took the journey was an ordeal.

"It is plain some of the younger kids are actually afraid it could happen again," Mrs Lillford said.

"My son tells me they close their eyes when they pass the corner.

"The road is simply too narrow for two vehicles to pass and the bus being used now is bigger than the minibus in the accident."

Another resident, Jack Buttsworth, said signs erected by the council warning people of the dangerous S-bend were not well placed and the flashing lights did not work.

"The way the security tape has been placed means cars have to stop and reverse back towards a blind corner," Mr Buttsworth said.

"We are glad something is being done but we hope it can be done very soon."

The council is investigating options to install a guardrail at the site and/or widening the road.

Cost estimates for these options are not yet finalised and are due to be discussed at the council's December meeting.

The council voted to include the project on their list of road improvements and assess its priority taking account of the recent accident.

In the interim vegetation will be cleared to improve visibility and traffic control measures will be investigated by the council's traffic committee.

The residents said the narrow road was no longer as quiet as it once was, being regularly used by tourists towing caravans and boats, as well as other heavy vehicles.

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