The plan to install traffic lights at the intersection of Perry and North streets in Batemans Bay has been put on the backburner while Eurobodalla Shire Council undertakes more consultation.
Following a suggestion from Mayor Lindsay Brown, councillors unanimously agreed to defer the controversial project and allow council to hold a meeting with Bate-
mans Bay Chamber of Commerce, landholders, Roads and Maritime Services and Bega MP Andrew Constance to consider the plan and other options.
“To avoid this issue becoming a negative campaign against the proposal, I am proposing we defer the matter and hold a series of stakeholders meetings…” Cr Brown said in his report.
“Whilst there are considerable arguments for (and against) any proposed traffic lights, it would appear that the community remains unconvinced as to the benefits of such lights or their necessity at this stage.”
No councillors opposed the deferral, but Cr Milton Leslight asked that landholders be a part of the consultation process, not just the Chamber of Commerce.
Cr Gabi Harding asked if landholders who wanted to be a part of the consultation could join the Chamber to ensure they’re represented.
“That’s a fair assumption, but that is not the case,” Cr Leslight said.
He also raised concerns about a report put to council by infrastructure services director Warren Sharpe, which stated the majority of the Batemans Bay Chamber of Commerce supported the plan.
Cr Leslight asked if this was true.
However Mr Sharpe said that while some objected to the plan, other members were supportive after staff explained the reasons behind the traffic light proposal.
Earlier this month, Mr Sharpe said the plan to install traffic lights came after a study showed the need for improved pedestrian safety at the intersection.
In a study completed during a day in October, 780 people crossed the junction in an hour, compared to 585 vehicles.
Mr Sharpe said people with a disability had raised concerns about the intersection’s safety.