Peak-hour points duty for Murwillumbah
By PETER CATON
ASSIGNING police for old-fashioned point duty has been suggested as the solution for peak hour traffic congestion in downtown Murwillumbah.
While Gold Coast or Sydney visitors might wonder what Murwillumbah folk are on about, the half-hour peak hour after schools close has become a talking point, especially when growth of the town is mentioned.
Now Chamber of Commerce president Paul Waters has suggested the traffic jams could be alleviated by police dancing in streets in white gloves, controlling the traffic flow and providing entertainment for both motorists and visitors.
Not only would that solve the traffic problem, said Mr Waters, but it could add to the image of Murwillumbah as a friendly country town.
"We could be known as the town that has a couple of coppers on point duty," he said.
Mr Waters said his suggestion was light-hearted but worth talking about because people had to accept town traffic became heavy "when you have 50 buses and 500 mums rushing around picking kids up from school".
His comments follow concerns that 400 new house lots planned for western Murwillumbah will add to traffic going through the heart of town.
The suggestion is unlikely to have police rushing for their white gloves and fluorescent vests.
Tweed police duty officer Sergeant Linda Harrison said police were always ready to "kick things off" in an emergency by doing point duty but RTA traffic controllers were then called in.
She said Tweed police often were called to do point duty when traffic lights in South Tweed Heads failed but any permanent problem was an issue for the Council. The prospect of traffic lights in Murwillumbah may be one up for consideration if the volume of traffic in the town, especially in peak periods continues to grow.
Tweed mayor Warren Polglase said the Council would look at traffic management in the town and may consider "one way streets and issues like that to move the traffic around."
State MP for Tweed Neville Newell said Murwillumbah's peak hour was "not a policing problem" and "should be rectified by Tweed Shire Council not by some silly suggestion".