Traffic through the Northern Illawarra is under the spotlight.
Ward One Councillor Jenelle Rimmer last night took the matter to Wollongong City Council where it has been agreed the situation needs attention sooner rather than later.
“It’s a massive problem and it’s getting worse,” says Councillor Rimmer. “The issue has been in the too-hard basket for too long, but now the conversation has been started.
Lawrence Hargrave Drive is owned and managed by the RMS, but Councillor Rimmer says while it’s easy to flick responsibility to them, Wollongong Council owns the roads all around it, so, as stakeholders, Council needs to take responsibility.
“Council has agreed to examine the fire trail at the top of Foothills Rd with a view to opening it up to traffic IN EMERGENCIES ONLY.
“Council will also investigate the idea of a link road to McCauley’s Beach Estate,” she says.
“Council owns land on the side of the Princes Highway at Bulli. We will also look at the creation of slip lanes to improve the flow through the traffic lights in that area.
“There is no doubt the problem has been exacerbated by the 2013 train timetable, which means car parks from as far south as Corrimal stand empty- because everyone has to drive to Thirroul to catch a train. It’s more traffic on the road and more parking problems.
“Then there are the weekends, where traffic is constantly crazy. If something were to happen to block access, it would be unthinkable!
But it’s not just traffic that was up for discussion last night. Councillor Rimmer says they’ve opened the conversation to matters that include parking problems for residents living around Sublime Point. “We had a lot of communication from locals about the impact of people parking to do the walk up the escarpment,” she says. “So while I had the opportunity I raised that as well.
Council has agreed to investigate all issues raised last night, with a briefing expected early next year. “I don’t want it rushed,” says Councillor Rimmer. “We need to look at a variety of issues including land ownership and traffic modelling to be sure it’s comprehensive, so steps can be taken to improve the quality of life for local residents.”