The Coffs Carols, run by Lifehouse Church, offered free entry to the public despite the high cost of traffic management.
The Coffs Carols, run by Lifehouse Church, offered free entry to the public despite the high cost of traffic management.

Safety fences win support

CALLS for fences to be built outside the Coffs Harbour Showground to safeguard pedestrians from highway traffic have been supported by the company which profits from events at the venue.

Mid Coast Traffic Services, based at Macksville, yesterday signalled its support for the idea.

Organisers of major events at the showground this week claimed the cost of traffic management is exorbitant because of Roads and Traffic Authority safety measures imposed on the venue.

It’s been said promoters behind the Coffs Monster Truck Show, the Open Arms Festival and the city’s annual Christmas Carols could be forced to look at other venues because of the mounting traffic management costs.

“We provide our services to at least six major events at the Coffs Showground each year and a permanent fence on the median strip and footpath would solve 95 per cent of the problems with pedestrian management, including the steep costs to promoters,” Mid Coast Traffic Services’ Grant Osbourne said.

When events are held at the showground, the RTA insists that crash barriers bound by steel cabling are erected on the median strip and footpath.

Electronic signs warning motorists are also a necessity along with pedestrian traffic controllers.

“Adding to the cost is that the RTA enforces that barriers are set up and packed up at night when highway traffic is at a minimum and, as a result, our workers need to be paid overtime,” Mr Osbourne said.

He said the RTA advised him the cost of permanent fencing was estimated around $70,000.

An RTA spokesman said the authority would make enquiries into the matter before releasing media comment. Organiser of the Monster Truck Show, Rod Britton, said the RTA was passing the buck by billing event holders and not committing to a permanent fence.

Lifehouse Church, which runs Coffs Harbour’s annual Christmas Carols, has been left thousands of dollars out of pocket because of the cost of traffic management at the free family event.

Lifehouse operations manager Mark Wray said the church was forced to pay $2000 for traffic services, even though it didn’t make a cent from the night



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