Heavy traffic in Byron Bay on Monday, November 23, 2020. The town has been busy as school-leavers prepare to celebrate an informal schoolies and other travellers have been flocking to the seaside town. Picture: Liana Boss
Heavy traffic in Byron Bay on Monday, November 23, 2020. The town has been busy as school-leavers prepare to celebrate an informal schoolies and other travellers have been flocking to the seaside town. Picture: Liana Boss

Traffic may cause some tradies to charge ‘Byron Bay rates’

BYRON BAY’s traffic chaos is making the town unappealing for tradies to accept jobs, according to one Northern Rivers’ landscaper.

Anthony Little this week posted to social media suggesting he might have to triple his rates for jobs in the town, to make up for time spent in traffic.

Later discussing the issue, Mr Little clarified he probably wouldn’t hike his rates up this dramatically; but sitting in standstill traffic has been an issue for him and other tradespeople.

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“Byron Bay’s already got a stigma about it; people are afraid of being charged extra,” he said.

“But you don’t make money sitting in traffic.

“To be honest I try my hardest to avoid working in Byron as it is because it’s just a sh--fight.

“None of my mates will go into Byron at the moment.

“They’ve got jobs open but they can’t go because it’s not financially viable to spend so much time (on the road).”

Mr Little said a standard trip to pick up extra materials during the day could turn into a mammoth, almost hour-long task in the current conditions.

But it’s not as if a traffic tax would be welcomed with open arms, he said.

“No one’s ever going to want to pay any extra for where they live,” he said.

“Clients, with this job (on Tuesday), they specifically asked us not to charge them ‘Byron Bay rates’,” he said.

“They know people often put up a little bit more money just because of the difficulty around the situation with Byron.”

He said it took him about an hour to get from the roundabout at the highway junction to the police station on Shirley St earlier this week.

It’s not just getting into town; on Monday afternoon, westbound traffic took almost an hour to flow from Middleton St to Ewingsdale Rd.

While Bangalow Rd had been closed for filming of Nine Perfect Strangers, the Byron Bay Bypass works are also ongoing.

“In a lot of areas they’d usually do this stuff (roadworks) at night,” he said.

“Obviously the local residents, they don’t want the night works going on because of the noise.

“It really wasn’t co-ordinated very well.”

“(The council) know that Byron Bay’s got limited access in and out.”

The council has responded to the situation here.