The fight to gain more lanes on the bridge between Forster and Tuncurry has gained momentum, with the petition for change now halfway to its target in under three months.
In April, Nationals member for Myall Lakes, Stephen Bromhead called on people who live in or visit the Forster-Tuncurry region to sign the petition.
“It’s extremely encouraging to see that more than 5,000 people have put pen to paper and signed their name to the cause” Mr Bromhead said.
“This showcases the immense public support for extra lanes between the twin-towns, but the fight isn’t over yet. We need a further 5,000 signatures to reach our goal of 10,000 signatures which will allow us to debate this on the floor of Parliament and bring this issue to the forefront of the NSW Government.
“In April, a tragic fatal accident closed the bridge causing a huge issue for emergency services and those looking to get across the water. It exposed how vulnerable we are without an alternative route nearby.”
At present, Bulahdelah offers another route, but it adds 90 minutes to the journey.
“We’ve already seen the success of a petition like this with the Forster Public Hospital, so I’m again calling on everyone who lives in or visits Forster Tuncurry, and who hasn’t already, to sign this petition and help me in the fight for a further two lanes connecting our picturesque twin-towns,” Mr Bromhead said.
Forster Buslines manager Jasmin Shroy said extra lanes would make a huge difference with their buses crossing the bridge upwards of 50 times a day.
“During holiday periods the bridge is clogged and causes delays. There’s a real need for extra lanes not only to ease traffic but to offer an alternative option in the event of an accident” Ms Shroy said.
Tuncurry Rural Fire Service Captain Steve Surguy said extra lanes would be a game changer for emergency services.
“The villages of Forster and Tuncurry are highly reliant on each other and when cut off our region becomes incredibly vulnerable,” Mr Surguy said.
“A second crossing or increased lanes across the water would eliminate the risk of isolation currently facing our community and ensure emergency vehicles could access both Forster and Tuncurry without delay.”
The petition is available to sign in Mr Bromhead’s Tuncurry office, at various local businesses, and online at stephenbromhead.com.au