Dear Beagle Editor,
Readers might like to learn a bit more about the plans (or lack of planning) they have for the new Batemans Bay Bridge. A couple of things I have discovered first before you read my letter to the RMS. 1. The bridge has to allow boats under 24/7. There are arguements now about what height boats and if the sailors have a win the bridge will need to be the current water height 23m instead of the proposed clearance to only 12 -14 meters? The approach on the southern side of the bridge will start around Kentucky Chicken which means that there won't be an off ramp into Clyde Street west. The RMS have confirmed this and said that if you want to go to Clyde Street west for motels or oysters you have to turn down North Street, go along Clyde Street and then go UNDER the bridge and that the underpass will be tall enough for a garbage truck. What about a semitrailer or removalist? They assurred me that they have been talking with a Council engineer and that Council are helping with advise about traffic flow options. To the RMS Officer in Charge of the Proposed New Batemans Bay Bridge over the Clyde River at Batemans Bay forming part of the Princes Highway, Highway No 1.
It’s understood the RMS has been working closely with the Eurobodalla Council developing plans for a new bridge over the Clyde River. The RMS conducted “Information” sessions in Batemans Bay about the proposed New Bridge Plans and new traffic arrangements on August 19 at the Batemans Bay Community Centre.
The plans at the moment indicate that traffic needing to go to Clyde St West will be funnelled along North St and Clyde St under the New Bridge with a height providing for Garbage Truck Heights at the moment, even though other high vehicles like furniture removalists trucks and large vans also have a need to service Clyde St West. On occasions long haul Charter Coaches do too.
The proposed traffic arrangements don’t appear to properly cater for Long Haul Coaches – Busses and driver rest areas in the proposed new traffic arrangements either.
The Coaches heading north at present enter Clyde St from the Princes Highway at the Clyde St / Princes Highway Intersection and generally exit using Beach Rd to go down the coast Rd or off to Sydney etc. It appears from talking with a RMS representative yesterday that present planning proposes that ALL traffic, busses and Coaches needing to go to the present bus stop next to Innes Boatshed and the Starfish Deli enter the Batemans Bay CBD via North St turn left into Clyde St and at some point do a “U” or 3 point turn to be able to exit the area that will be provided for public transport use. Remember that some of the long haul Coaches are a bit more than the usual 14 meter buses. We have all heard the rumours that Council might consider pulling up the grass area on Clyde Street between Innes Boatshed and the War memorial for either more parking (or maybe even a new bus zone). Council only just finished putting down at considerable expense after long consultation with the community and an increase in rates to support the foreshore beautification. But maybe Council has another proposal to relocate and properly provide for users and owners of public transport; taking into account the ageing demographics of the Eurobodalla Shires Population and the need to properly and genuinely provide for the ageing population of the area. Putting a bus terminal over at the Mackay Park area isn't going to work for local passenger buses that MUST run the main street of Batemans Bay where their passengers EXPECT to be picked up and dropped off. It is obvious that there hasn't been any thought about traffic flow and how Council will deal with the new bridge and how it relates to the Batemans Bay CBD. And if there has been thought and input as advised yesterday by the RMS represenative then it must have been behind closed doors because we haven't heard anything nor have the businesses that will be affected.
Then there’s Wharf Rd entry and exit that doesn’t seem to have anything satisfactory planned for that either.
All this is generally occurring because of the Ferry operator and a Ferry that needs the bridge raised at least twice a day almost every day of the year.
There really needs to be some long term planning occur about a decent Princes Highway Corridor in the Eurobodalla Shire too.
Discussions about the Princes Highway bridges, by passes and all the other stuff in the Eurobodalla Shire started at least 20 years ago and still there’s no real vision in my opinion with what’s been occurring. The RMS Princes Highway 20 year strategy is I’d suggest already out of date and a band aid solution that doesn’t provide for a genuine long term efficient princes highway corridor through the Eurobodalla Shire. Something needs to occur in that line of thinking, may I suggest!
yours Sincerely Allan Brown