The simple way to fix traffic congestion in the Bathurst CBD

Parking on William Street.
Parking on William Street.

NOSE-IN parking or one-way streets aren’t needed to ease traffic congestion in the Bathurst CBD, drivers just need to obey the road rules.

That’s the view of Bathurst councillor and driving instructor Warren Aubin after a week of online discussion about how to best fix the CBD’s traffic woes.

It started with a letter to the editor by Bathurst man Stephen Darlington who suggested nose-in parking, as is commonplace in southern NSW towns and cities, might improve traffic flows, while Bruce Clydsdale bought into the debate just days later suggesting George and William streets be made one-way only.

Both suggestions prompted a furious response online while Cr Aubin said drivers who could not reverse park correctly were adding to traffic congestion. 

Under NSW road rules, drivers who want to park must wait for other motorists to pass before reversing, but Cr Aubin said he had seen drivers swing right to prevent others from passing.

“This, to me, shows that these drivers who take the whole roadway up when reversing don’t know how to drive properly,” he said.

“It’s not rocket science. If people knew the road rules and waited for cars to come around them when they were reverse parking, then everything would be fine.”

William Street business owners have also seen their share of poor driving.

“Drivers tend of pull out across the median strip, where the loading zone is,” Bobbie’s Clothing owner Mel Gregory said.

“This is dangerous because there might be a car pulling out on the other side of the road or a pedestrian crossing. It can be scary.” 

Ms Gregory said motorists could get impatient and end up doing the wrong thing.

“When drivers want to reverse park, sometimes they can’t get around because there might be truck in the loading zone and you can’t get around because of the lamp post or gardens,” she said.

Aussie Disposals manager Ryan Harmer has also noticed increased congestions, especially on a busy shopping days like Saturday.

“When people are parking on a busy day, it can hold traffic up for up to 30 seconds,” he said.

“They can’t get around the parking car because it’s too tight.

“This can affect cars on other blocks, queuing the traffic up further up the street.”

Mr Harmer said he consistently sees drivers having trouble when parking.

“In the past we’ve seen reversing cars hit parked cars when reversing. 

“On a busy day, when cars are having trouble reverse parking, the hold ups can be even longer.” 

The reverse parking and traffic congestion issues have also caught to the attention of many Western Advocate readers, with one suggesting nose-to-kerb parking and another favouring the idea of making George and William one-way streets.

Cr Aubin labelled the ideas as “crap”, saying “there’s no way you can do that”.

“It’s a really expensive thing to do and every bit of infrastructure on the side of the street would have to be changed.”