10 November, 2022
Calls for road widening on one-lane highway
UPPER Barron residents are fed up with an unsealed section of the Upper Barron Road which has caused havoc with locals and incurred massive losses to a leading cattle producer.
Locals met with Member for Hill Shane Knuth and Tablelands Regional Council recently and are now calling on the State Government to widen and seal the remaining 6km section.
Mr Knuth said he couldn’t believe that a main road, which is a tourist route and is used daily by school buses, trucks and residents, is still a single-lane highway.
“We have been pushing for this to be fully sealed for a number of years now and it is time that the State Government provided the funding to finish the remaining 6km of road,” he said.
“The community is rising up and they have had enough.
“We do appreciate that six years ago part of road was fully sealed and widened but most of this road is still a single lane and a death trap.”
Angela Lynch said as a local resident and mum, the Upper Barron Road frightens her and her children daily.
There is a bus shelter out the front of her property however her children refuse to use it and will wait inside the fence line until they see the school bus before stepping off the property.
“They are too scared to use the bus shelter because they have previously been showered with rocks and dust from oncoming trucks which are trying to pass,” she said.
“Now they refuse to come out and catch the bus which is really unacceptable.”
She said something needed to be done to make the road safer for those on the side of the road as much as road users.
Telpara Hills owner Trevor Pearce said he has had vehicles damaged and cattle hurt because trucks have been forced off the road due to oncoming traffic.
Telpara Hills is one of Australia’s leading cattle studs for Brangus and Ultrablack Bulls and has had multiple record-breaking sales in the past couple of years.
“We have had a safety issue, not only with people on this road but livestock,” Mr Pearce said.
“We carry livestock up and down here very regularly and we are forced off the road every time another vehicle comes which causes our trucks to lurch which are causing accidents to happen inside our cattle trucks.
“We have very valuable livestock, and it is a huge cost to us.”
Mr Pearce just recently had an embryo tank which was travelling along the road forced off and smash, incurring huge losses.
“These costs are huge because we have a main highway here which isn’t a highway,” he said.
“We are proud of the top end, but we have big safety problems at the bottom end of the road because it remains a single lane highway.”
At the recent Tablelands Regional Council meeting it was decided to write a letter to the Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey, requesting the widening and sealing of the remaining section of Upper Barron Road.