Busy roads the cost of coastal progress
By PETER CATON
BOOM times on the Tweed Coast have hundreds of residents clamouring for peace and quiet.
The hubbub of increasing traffic from Kingscliff to Pottsville has some householders closing doors and windows and turning up their television sets.
But for some the noise is bound to worsen with parts of the Tweed Coast Road likely to become four lanes in the future.
Yesterday Kingscliff residents were preparing an urgent submission to Tweed Shire Council's traffic committee calling for load limits and traffic calming through the township.
They are furious over scores of concrete trucks and other construction traffic rumbling through suburban streets like McPhail Avenue, Viking and Sutherland Streets.
And while that traffic is blamed on booming construction in Salt and Casuarina Beach, residents further south along the Tweed Coast are also protesting.
The traffic committee is set to consider a temporary five-tonne load on the Kingscliff streets for "one or two years" in a bid to force construction traffic to use the Tweed Coast Road to reach Salt and Casuarina.
However traffic engineers say the coast road south of that is meant to be a major distributor route and one day could become four lanes.
Kingscliff residents say it is not necessary for the traffic to use their streets.
"Last week we had an onslaught of cement trucks starting from six o'clock in the morning with one every two minutes," said Sutherland Street resident Carmel Bradman.
"The noise in the morning is just unreal. It's got to the point where in my place or my neighbours you can't have a window or a door open."
McPhail Avenue homeowner Terry Cleal said fully-laden cement trucks crawled past changing gears and when empty sped by causing his house to vibrate.
"They are using a residential street as an industrial work road," he said.
Yesterday he counted 35 trucks and work utes heading east towards Salt and Casuarina and 20 heading the other way between 6.30am and 7am.
At Hastings Point, homeowner Julie Boyd says it's the smaller trucks and delivery vans which make the biggest racket.
"It's reached the point where I have to keep my doors and windows closed constantly because of the pollution and noise," she said.
Council traffic engineer Paul Morgan said next week's traffic committee meeting would consider any submissions on the Kingscliff problems.
He said it would look at imposing load limits on Viking Street and McPhail Avenue for possibly two years to force Salt and Casuarina building sub-contractors to use the Tweed Coast road.
But he said traffic further south on the Tweed Coast Road was still 30 per cent less than before the Tweed Motorway was opened.