DAVID Murrell says he and his neighbours fear the long-awaited extension of Hogbin Drive will create more problems than it solves for residents of Coffs Harbour's Kingfisher Estate area.
The Watsonia Avenue resident said a planning change had replaced a roundabout with a T-junction at the new intersection of Watsonia Avenue and Hogbin Drive North, in what he believed was a dangerous cost-cutting measure.
The proposed new work will open the southern end of Watsonia Avenue, but close off the existing northern entry to the street, via the Orlando Street roundabout.
In spite of receiving a letter yesterday saying that a right-turn access would be provided for vehicles entering and leaving Watsonia Avenue for Hogbin Drive, which answered one of the residents' concerns, a group of residents said yesterday their concerns ranged from worries about road width and alignment, speed, visibility, accidents and wildlife to school bus routes, pedestrian access and the lack of consultation by council.
Mr Murrell said residents wanted the existing northern entry to remain in place, particularly if there was to be no roundabout at the southern entry.
Coffs Harbour City Council's council's work manager Allan Hindmarsh said the deciding factors in the change of plan had been safety and functionality, not cost.
He said the intersection proposed, like that on Hogbin Drive near the Hi-Tech Estate, would eliminate a point of possible congestion and would have a leftturn slip lane into Watsonia Avenue with a protracted right-hand turn, and a similar one on Hogbin Drive. He said residents had raised some good points and he was looking at a number of options, including the possibility of changing the angle of the leg off Hogbin Drive. He said much more information would be available in the new year and he would like the opportunity to speak to residents at that point.