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Councillors voted unanimously this week to reject the disused Canowindra rail line option as a short term heavy vehicle bypass route, opting for the recommended Southern Ring Road corridor.
Councillor Jack Mallon abstained from voting, citing his ownership of land affected by the proposed bypass route.
The Canowindra Rail Corridor option surfaced as a short term possibility earlier this year, with community feedback at the time stressing the need to move heavy vehicle traffic from the main street as soon as possible.
The rail corridor was presented as a less expensive solution that Cowra Council could afford – rather than being forced to wait for other levels of government to provide funding for a heavy vehicle bypass.
However, according to a report presented to councillors on the matter on Monday night, the overwhelming amount of people who made a submission to council on the matter were prepared to wait, for a long term option, rather than pursue the short term option centering on the rail corridor through the town centre.
Feedback to the council – with one hundred and eighty six submissions received on the matter, and more than 300 people passing through Council’s specially staffed information shopfront – wanted Council “do it once and do it right”, according to the report.
And, councillors agreed when it came to voting, with one, Peter Wright, labelling the rail corridor a possible “white elephant” if it was constructed.
Others, including Kevin Wright – stressed the need to push the bypass now to other levels of government for funding.
The now preferred bypass route will loop around Cowra to the south of Taragala via Campbell St, then west over the Lachlan River to the airport, then turn north to meet the Lachlan Valley Way.
The matter will now go to Council’s general meeting at the end of the month for formal submission and a final vote.
This article first appeared on www.cowraguardian.com.au
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