The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has called for public consultation on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the long-awaited Coffs Harbour Bypass proposal.

Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) say it has identified a preferred route, which will provide a 14-kilometre four-lane divided highway bypass of Coffs Harbour.

The Department’s Executive Director, Infrastructure Assessments, David Gainsford, says wider community input is a vital part of the planning process and has encouraged as many people as possible to have their say.

“Our role is to assess this infrastructure proposal in consultation with local people, government agencies and stakeholders,” he says.

“The bypass is desperately needed for local residents and travellers alike and will encourage safer travel by reducing the number of vehicles through Coffs Harbour, and save between 10 and 15 minutes in travel times by bypassing 12 sets of traffic lights,” says NSW deputy premier and minister for Regional NSW, John Barilaro.

Member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser, says a previous round of consultation generated more than 700 pieces of correspondence and comments on the interactive map.

“The NSW Nationals and Liberals Government is serious about delivering this bypass and we will put in our fair share of funding and hard work to get the solution right,” he says.

After the exhibition closes on 27 October, the Department says it will consider all community submissions received, along with feedback from other government agencies and councils, as part of its independent assessment process.

Construction of the bypass is set to start in 2020.

For more information on the Environmental Impact Statement, visit the NSW Major Projects website.