At next week’s Clarence Valley Council (CVC) meeting, councillors will consider whether or not to include the installation of traffic lights on the corner of Treelands Drive and Yamba Road, as a condition of approval for a Coles service station at the site.
The council’s staff has recommended traffic lights instead of constructing the long-planned for roundabout at the troublesome intersection.
In January 2013, the Independent reported: “The construction of traffic control infrastructure at the intersection … has long been a contentious issue for both the former Maclean shire and Clarence Valley councils.
“Last week, a nearby resident, Roger McLean, once again brought the issue to the notice of the Clarence Valley Council.
“’I wish to bring to your attention the dangerous traffic situation … there is an extreme and urgent need for a roundabout at this intersection (or alternatively some other traffic control device eg traffic lights),’ he wrote to councillors.”
In March 2012 councillors resolved to seek grant funding for a roundabout at both state and federal levels, however, qualifying for ‘Nation Building Blackspot’ funding required a minimum of three casualty crashes over a five-year period – between July 1, 2006 and June 30, 2011, police reported one casualty at the intersection.
Meanwhile, at state level the roundabout did not meet Benefit Cost Ratio requirements to attract grant funding.
The Independent addressed questions to CVC’s works and civil director Troy Anderson, posed on the premise that traffic lights were not included in the publically exhibited planning proposal to rezone the site, or in development application’s exhibition – and that the installation of traffic lights would be of high public interest and, therefore, the subject of a separate public consultation.
Clarence Valley Independent: Will this matter be going to the traffic committee for consideration?
Troy Anderson: The matter of intersection treatment to the Treelands Dve/Yamba Rd intersection will be considered by Council at the required time.
It is most likely that the matter will be reported to Council directly and not through the traffic committee.
The matter of the intersection and it requiring treatment was dealt with by the traffic committee in 2015, as part of the rezoning application for the service station site.
CVI: Will Clarence Valley Council conduct a separate consultation on the traffic lights concept?
TA: Council will undertake the design process for the intersection this financial year.
Over the past 2 years it has included this project in its delivery plan ($300K each year) and created a sinking fund for the construction of the intersection in the 19/20 year.
The required level of consultation is yet to be determined.
In 2013, the Independent reported a 2010 traffic survey at the Yamba Road and Treelands Drive intersection found that the “peak hourly volume was 1,149 vehicles, compared with the 1999 figure of 887, and the projection of 1,515 for 2019”
The rezoning planning proposal for the service station, prepared by Newton Denny Chapelle, states that the peak hourly traffic volume, which was measured in 2016, was 1180 vehicles.