Clarence Valley Council general manager Ashley Lindsay will be part of talks today attempting to ensure the council keeps its $4.27 million Restart NSW grant to build roundabouts in Yamba.
Clarence Valley Council general manager Ashley Lindsay will be part of talks today attempting to ensure the council keeps its $4.27 million Restart NSW grant to build roundabouts in Yamba.

Phone hook-up to decide future of $4.27mil roundabout grant

ANYONE who thinks the Yamba roundabout v traffic lights debate is over needs to take a deep breath.

The real work starts today.

Clarence Valley councillors might have tied themselves in knots for 18 months deciding whether traffic lights or roundabouts were what Yamba needed to control the traffic using its only access road.

On Tuesday the councillors voted for a roundabout solutions cut back from the original four roundabouts to two at roughly the same cost.

But as council general manager Ashley Lindsay noted, that was dependent on Restart NSW agreeing to the proposal.

Mr Lindsay said the council has scheduled a phone hook-up with Restart NSW for tomorrow afternoon to thrash out the future of the $4.27 million grant.

He said the real issue won't be the cost overrun but the 50 per cent reduction in the outcome of the grant.

"Council will be able to fund the $320,000 or so shortfall, if it eventuates," Mr Lindsay said.

He said the council's argument would be the grant should stand because the amount would be unchanged.

"A lot of the cost blowout was due to relocation of services," he said. "It was not so much to do with building the roundabouts."

Mr Lindsay said the deed of agreement between Restart NSW and the council allowed room to move.

"While we signed off on roundabouts, the deed acknowledges the prime need for traffic control at these intersections, whether it's traffic lights or roundabouts," he said.

Mr Lindsay said council planners were already looking at the next issue confronting the town, the so-called Yamba bypass.

He said there was a "traffic corridor" available for this road, but decisions would need to be made about access to developments in West Yamba.

"There's an unformed road corridor at Shores Dr," he said. "Decisions will need to be made about where people want to access West Yamba. We don't want to have one road in and out."

He said a Yamba bypass road would take pressure off Yamba Rd and the need for traffic control at its intersection with Shores Dr.