Byron United has a change of heart

Byron United president Paul Waters.
Byron United president Paul Waters. Jann Burmester

AFTER meeting with Byron Mayor Simon Richardson last week, Byron United has now softened its view on proposals for a park-and-ride system and pedestrian mall for Byron Bay to help ease traffic congestion.

The business group's president, Paul Waters, has told members he would seek board approval to endorse the Council's application for Regional Development Australia funding for a park-and-ride system during peak holidays.

Mr Waters said Byron United initially had formed the opinion that a park-and-ride system would not work in isolation.

"I am pleased to report that the mayor also has the same view and we agreed that we should give it a try incorporating other works," he said.

"The other aspect of park-and-ride is the potential for a substantial Federal Government infrastructure grant that would provide much needed funds towards road upgrades that make the whole project work."

Two weeks ago, Mr Waters said the proposal to close a major section of Jonson Street to traffic and create a pedestrian precinct would be "absolutely disastrous" for small business.

But after meeting with Cr Richardson, he said Byron United had agreed that with proper road and parking changes, a mall might be workable at the top end of Jonson St between Lawson St and the beach.

That project was a long way off and couldn't be considered until bypass/link roads had been introduced, along with other road and street changes that would prevent gridlock at peak times, Cr Richardson said.

He said the group now understood that a park-and-ride system was part of a plan to deal with traffic problems.

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