Cr Adam Belot, Cr Pat Eastwood, Clair Fitzpatrick discuss a safer alternative to the current Bangalee access to Farnborough Beach.
Cr Adam Belot, Cr Pat Eastwood, Clair Fitzpatrick discuss a safer alternative to the current Bangalee access to Farnborough Beach.

Farnborough Beach traffic explodes, sparking concerns

A SIGNIFICANT increase in vehicular traffic on Farnborough Beach during the coronavirus pandemic has heightened safety concerns of local residents.

The ongoing issue reared its head again this week at Livingstone’s monthly meeting when several councillors revealed what had transpired during the travel restrictions period.

“The numbers up there, it would be fair to say, are unprecedented,” Cr Adam Belot said after describing the rise in traffic as “significant”.

Cr Belot suggested perhaps another traffic count was required at the Bangalee access to the beach, as the last official count was done two years ago.

The question of whether a safer access point should be found for vehicles using Farnborough Beach, and where exactly that could be, has lingered since Cr Belot raised safety and congestion concerns late last year.

What emerged at this week’s council meeting was that Cr Belot is not a lone wolf on this issue.

Cr Andrea Friend, who now looks at environment matters as part of her council portfolio, said she had recently met with concerned residents in the area.

“I have met with residents who actually back up what Cr Belot has said about the increase in traffic,” she said.

“They’re concerned about the local residents and their children playing on the beach, dogs off leash, and young ­people in cars doing burn-outs and driving up the sand dunes, affecting the environment and our local turtle populations.

“I concur with Cr Belot, we do need another traffic count just to bring us up-to-date with how many vehicles are using this access.”

Cr Friend said she had made requests through the council for more speed limit and “no turn right onto the beach” signage at the Bangalee access.

“That is progressing,” she said.

“The residents would be very keen to have that signage erected so that at least that’s something in the interim period, while we progress through and look for alternatives for the future for access to the beach”.

Cr Mather asked the council meeting had an approach been made to the police to up their patrols of the area.

Cr Friend said residents had been liaising with local police, whose presence had increased and fines had been issued.

Cr Friend said she had submitted a request to find out how many fines had been handed out.

Cr Pat Eastwood vouched for the increased police presence, saying it had been “quite intense and very well received”.

A council report on the Farnborough Beach access issues is being drafted and is expected to be presented at a briefing session next month.

This week acting CEO Brett Bacon said that report would contain information on community engagement undertaken and possible alternate access points.