M1 Pacific Motorway: Byron Bay interchange capacity

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M1 Pacific Motorway: Byron Bay interchange capacity

Connectivity to Byron Bay
Early-stage proposal (Stage 1)
Location
Ewingsdale, NSW
Geography
Smaller cities and regional centres
Category
Efficient urban transport networks
Problem/Opportunity timeframe
Longer term (10-15 years)
Proposed By
Byron Shire Council
Date added to the IPL
26 February 2021
M1 Pacific Motorway: Byron Bay interchange capacity

Problem

The intersection of M1 Pacific Motorway and MR545 is the key interchange to Byron Bay on the North Coast of New South Wales.

Commuter and tourism traffic is leading to growing congestion at this intersection, particularly during peak times. Traffic queues are often between 500 m to 2 km along the M1 to and onto the MR545.

Since 1999, traffic volumes have grown strongly by around 3% per year. This growth is expected to continue as tourism grows in the region. In 2019, an average of over 22,500 vehicles used the corridor each day.

In 2019, over 2.4 million people visited the Byron Shire, despite the population of Byron Shire being just under 35,000 residents.

While variable speed signs have been implemented to manage congestion, there is an increasing risk of vehicle crashes due to the excessive congestion and queueing.

The 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit found that road safety performance is not on track to meet the objectives of the National Road Safety Strategy.

Proposal

The proposal is for capacity improvements on the M1 Pacific Motorway interchange to Byron, which could include a range of configurations.

It should also consider capacity along the M1 Pacific Motorway and on Ewingsdale Road, which is the connection from the interchange to Byron Bay.

Next steps

Proponent to develop potential investment options (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).