Fireworks explode between MP and local council
UPDATE: Coffs Harbour City Council have hit back at MP Andrew Fraser's criticism over the traffic debacle that took place on the Jetty Foreshores after the New Years Eve fireworks.
"The organisers of the fireworks and the traffic control made it clear through signage ahead of the event that there would be delays for anyone parking on the eastern side of the railway line,” said a council spokesperson.
"The main problem is the location of the state government's railway line, which acts as a barrier and only leaves two possible routes in and out.”
They concluded: "Perhaps the ideal solution would be for the railway line to be relocated further west. Could Mr Fraser take this idea to his colleagues in the NSW Government?”
THE NEW Year's Eve fireworks were undeniably spectacular this year, but the annual headache of the traffic that ensues was one of the worst it's ever been, according to MP Andrew Fraser.
"Pathetic” was the final word Mr Fraser had to say to the local council after a presumably tedious wait to exit the jetty area on New Year's Eve.
With only one exit available on the night, traffic gridlocked after Jordan Esplanade was blocked because of the number of pedestrians visiting the carnival.
However according to Mr Fraser, traffic controllers were employed by the carnival only to block Jordan Esplanade rather than to "control traffic”.
A frustrated Mr Fraser took to social media soon after the lights display to air his disgust at the "non-existent” management of the traffic this year.
"How Coffs Council could allow this to happen without implementation of a proper traffic plan for this event is beyond comprehension,” Mr Fraser wrote. "The traffic controllers were not paid to organise traffic leaving the foreshore, only to block the intersection.
"There were nine or 10 car park exits with cars leaving them all simultaneously plus others driving across footpaths. It was nothing less than an absolute debacle.”
Mr Fraser's dismay was met with a round of virtual applause, with fellow fireworks revellers agreeing with his criticisms.
"Well said! It was certainly a joke!,” said one user.
"Thanks for noticing and saying something. It's such a great night down there, but getting home could be easier,” said another.
Attendees revealed their excruciatingly long wait times this year, with one saying it took them more than an hour to exit.
Another apparently took more than two hours to get back home.
But Mr Fraser commended the traffic controllers, who he said were just doing what they were "paid to do”.
Traffic controllers were working with difficult conditions in which crowds of pedestrians and hundreds of cars tried to use the one exit that apparently had at least two trains pass through.