The RTA?s plan is for a motorway running along the Coffs Coast (in red) for through traffic, with a parallel service road for l
The RTA?s plan is for a motorway running along the Coffs Coast (in red) for through traffic, with a parallel service road for l

HIGHWAY HELL

By LEE McDOUGALL

THE smallest grain of sand can cause enough irritation in an oyster for a beautiful pearl to form and grow.

It is perhaps this analogy that is providing some glimmer of hope for Steve Moody and members of the Woolgoolga Area Residents' (WAR) group.

At this point in time, Mr Moody could be forgiven for thinking the war against the RTA's plans for the Pacific Highway upgrade between Sapphire and Woolgoolga is simply not worth it.

Mr Moody chaired a meeting between the RTA and 28 community representatives on Monday night to discuss the RTA's proposed Coffs Coast Motorway.

"The meeting learnt that between Sapphire the Woolgoolga, the RTA now plan to build a continuous service road parallel to the intended new motorway to avoid local traffic having to use it," he said. "This totally contradicts the justification for having the motorway previously based on the premise that it was needed

to service local traffic. The fact is, the motorway is not being built to service local traffic. It's being built to service the politically powerful transport industry."

Mr Moody said the motorway, that included the deviation route Option E around Woolgoolga, was 'a monumental disaster' for the future of Coffs Harbour.

"The whole Coffs Coast Motorway makes the recently released Coffs Harbour City Council Our Living City: Settlement Strategy a farce," Mr Moody said.

"(The strategy) claims to provide a quality lifestyle for residents where health and wellbeing are improving over time.

"How can it when you will have a six-lane motorway with growing traffic volumes built for the transport industry going straight through our city and coastal settlements?"

This was a question echoed by the council's land use, health and development committee chairman, Cr Rod McKelvey.

"Those 28 people at Monday night's meeting are perhaps far better informed than the council," Cr McKelvey said.

"The council wasn't invited to the meeting and have not been informed of any outcomes. The council was supposed to have regular monthly meetings with the RTA in order to keep updated and informed, but as far as I know, we've only ever had one meeting."

The RTA informed Monday night's meeting that the Sapphire to Arrawarra Coffs Coast Motorway was expected to be completed earlier than the predicted 2014.



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