River Street Bridge an unnecessary detour in Dubbo's traffic plan

Another week has gone by and with it even more ridiculous announcements are made about the proposed River Street High Level Bridge.

This time it was from the RMS bureaucracy who has announced that with the new River Street Bridge, there is no way to avoid the flooding area under the railway line near the Serisier Bridge on Whylandra Street without a traffic detour. They now say they will create a flood detour lane that will take south bound traffic up Thompson Street to Bourke Hill left onto Victoria Street, then all the way back down to the Whylandra/Victoria Street intersection.

This would be funny if it were not so serious.

Locals, unlike faraway government bureaucracy, actually understand the issues around the transport congestion mess that Dubbo is slowing falling into.

They know that the intersection at Hungry Jacks in West Dubbo is overcapacity.  Locals also know that this River Street Bridge proposal is not going to take even one extra vehicle off that intersection.

That coupled with the extreme absurdity of sending Newell Highway traffic almost to Bourke Hill up Thompson Street and on the other side the river sending traffic right up to Yarrandale Road has locals rightfully angry that their commonsense concerns are simply being ignored - or in some cases, their concerns mocked!

Politicians often get into trouble by blindly following the advice of their bureaucrats as opposed to listening to the majority of the wider population.  Too many Ministers and MPs willingly follow instructions only to have overwhelming public opinion force a backflip that causes irreparable damage to the community’s level of trust in their decision making.

We are going through the same situation right here, right now in Dubbo.  We have elected (and in some cases unelected) politicians openly ignoring the concerns of the public who are experiencing the issues firsthand, instead blindly following advice of a faraway bureaucracy.

Dubbo is having a growth spurt.  In fact, even when Dubbo isn’t having a growth spurt we still grow.  We simply must have our east-west traffic congestion solved as soon as possible because the congestion will only progressively get worse. 

In South West Dubbo around the Delroy Park and Grangewood areas, the amount of new housing being built is breathtaking. Likewise, in South East Dubbo (Keswick, South Lakes, Macquarie View etc), our housing construction industry is also rocketing along in near record speed. The LH Ford Bridge, which was constructed in the 1960s cannot continue to take such huge volumes of traffic between the South West and South East sections of Dubbo.

To build a new high level bridge nowhere near the growth epicentre to the north of Dubbo at River Street says to me that politicians are blindly following the bureaucracy and ignoring the public. The overwhelming opinion within the community says that River Street is wrong. The public isn’t happy with the location and they aren’t happy about how the government has tried to go about it.

It would be wise for anybody seeking to be a representative of Dubbo to start listening to the concerns of residents or they face the very real risk of being rejected by the public.

Last Edited: 06 Mar 2019

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