Port Macquarie's North Shore residents say their voices have been ignored by Port Macquarie-Hastings Council after funds were allocated for a footpath, instead of much-needed road repairs.
"We do feel a little bit forgotten," resident Celia Kershaw said.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council was allocated $3.4 million under the Australian Local Roads Community Infrastructure Grant. Of that, $960,000 was allocated to the North Shore.
Residents participated in community consultation sessions with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council staff in 2021 to discuss funding priorities. They voted for the money to go towards resurfacing parts of Shoreline Drive and North Shore Drive.
But council now wants to use the grant to construct a footpath for the North Shore from the Ferry Wharf to the Coal Wharf Reserve, then continuing along the shoreline into the Coal Wharf Reserve.
They've decided instead to put in footpaths, which nobody want.- Kerry Fox
According to a council letter to residents dated May 13, staff undertook geotechnical surveys on the roads and the repair task was found to exceed available funding.
"Unfortunately, the investigations have identified the varying quality of existing ground conditions and indicate the need for more significant ground improvement works than what we previously anticipated," council said.
"We'll continue to work on this and look to other funding sources for future upgrades."
Northside Progress Association president Kerry Fox said it's disappointing council has disregarded the community's priorities.
"They've decided instead to put in footpaths, which nobody want," she said. "The footpaths will be under the water if we ever flood again."
Celia Kershaw has been a North Shore resident for 20 years. She said the roads on the North Shore are dangerous for motorists and pedestrians.
"Some residents have lived here for 40 years and they've never seen the roads as bad as this."
She acknowledged that pot holes are fixed when there's been heavy rainfall.
"It's a band-aid solution.
"I understand council covers a large area and there are many roads which need to be repaired. But to have promised us this...we've had community consultation and we've said roads and drains are our number one priority."
Some residents, such as Carry Williamson won't drive at night to catch the Settlement Point Ferry, due to the condition of the road.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has prioritised transport and traffic in its draft operational plan for 2022/2023.
Of the $288 million to be spent in the next 12 months, over $60 million is going towards roadworks, including repairs.
But the North Shore isn't on the project list.
North Shore residents have written to council to say they do not want a footpath and would rather the funding go towards some repairs.
To have your say on council's draft operation plan, visit council's website haveyoursay.pmhc.nsw.gov.au/integrated-planning-and-reporting
Community consultation closes on June 1.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.