TfNSW sent a letter to the SIRA President informing SIRA that conditional registration would not be permitted on Scotland Island. A link to this letter was published in the SIRA News of August 26, 2023.
Rory Amon, MP for Pittwater submitted a question on notice to the lower house of Parliament requesting from the Minister for TfNSW a response by August 6 as to progress on registration for non-compliant vehicles.
After an inquiry from the Hon. Rob Stokes MP, Minister for Infrastructure, stakeholders received a copy of the reply from TfNSW stating that Transport for NSW continues to assess the significant safety implications of allowing conditional registration of golf buggies and ultra-light utility vehicles, and the associated risks considering Scotland Island’s current road conditions. It was anticipated that a formal response will be issued to the Northern Beaches Council by 1 June 2023, subsequent to further meetings within Transport for NSW.
- Presently as stated on the TfNSW website (Golf buggies / Conditional Registration)“Residents of Scotland Island are not eligible to apply for conditional registration of a golf buggy due to the road conditions.”
- As stated in a notification to SIRA from Northern Beaches Council regarding registration for non-compliant vehicles, Golf Buggies and Ultra Lights “TfNSW have also advised that the ongoing use of any unregistered vehicles on Scotland Island is an offence, as the roads remain public roads under the law, and that this practice should not be encouraged.” (May 21, 2021)
TfNSW letter received in response to the correspondence on 11 February 2022. In it TfNSW said that “a review of conditional registration for Scotland Island remains ongoing”. Some comments were made about the safety risks of golf buggies and the ability of islanders to apply for conditional registration for alternative non-standard vehicles. TfNSW Response to Scotland Island Residents Association Feb 2022.
2022, February 11
After a follow-up by the SIRA Roads Sub-committee Transport NSW (TfNSW) advised that they were aiming to have an outcome prior to October 2022. SIRA will monitor progress and encourage an outcome even sooner.
With confusion continuing as to the current state of play of Conditional Registration for Scotland Island, SIRA shared resident concerns withTransport NSW and requested a response for clarity.
Following up on concerns raised by some members of the community the Scotland Island Traffic Management Plan was placed on hold and to be reviewed by Transport NSW (TfNSW).
The first and most important part of the review process was a visit to the Island which took place on the 6th of December, delegations from TfNSW, Broken Bay Water Police, NBC Council and SIRA Roads Sub-committee met and walked around the Island including the area of the recent buggy accident.
Observations of road conditions registered and unregistered vehicles, the wide range of differing vehicles as well as roadside vehicle parking platforms were noted, and many photos were taken.
After the walking tour the attendees discussed the next steps involved in this process. TfNSW will be conducting internal discussions with several departments including Centre for Road Safety and Legal. It was advised that the first steps in this process would be to understand what types of vehicles and speed limits are safe for these road conditions and then what actions and conditions would need to be applied to achieve conditional registration. It was mentioned that NSW Conditional Registration is currently being reviewed and TfNSW may need to consider a Scotland Island specific conditional registration code.
For more information, please read these related documents:
SIRA News published this letter from NBC to SIRA in which NBC advised: “TfNSW have advised they no longer support the TMP for conditional registration for golf buggies or similar vehicles on Scotland Island roads. Conditional registration for other vehicles may be considered on a case-by-case basis (this can be completed via application to the TfNSW Technical Enquiries Unit for assessment).
Council will continue to work with TfNSW to obtain conditional registration for golf buggies on Scotland Island and will advise SIRA and residents of Scotland Island once a solution has been achieved.”
Read the full document here: NBC Communication Re Rego Non-Compliant Vehicle May 2021
NBC responded to the representative of the residents protesting, providing explanations of the process, its purpose and associated issues.
2021 (date not recorded) Written queries to SIRA from the buggy group and answers can be seen here.
2021, February 18
A group of residents wrote to NBC expressing concerns about the process of conditionally registering buggies on Scotland Island. Their concerns included:
- The new safety requirements
- The requirement for a registration process, and
- The introduction of a special permit system for drivers.
2021, February 13
After many months of consultation between SIRA, NBC and TfNSW, the SIRA News of February 13 2021 included two things: a letter from NBC announcing that all vehicles on the island will need to be registered and have a Scotland Island Registration Permit, and saying that conditional registration ‘is now available’ subject to vehicles meeting safety standards. The NBC page Scotland Island Permit FAQs page explains the purpose behind the Permits. It also announced that inspections would take place on February 27 2021 and March 6 2021. Links to the required safety requirements were included and can be seen, and NBC explained that after an inspection, vehicles would be deemed either:
- Fully compliant – Customer will be issued with an Access Permit and documentation for them to obtain Conditional Registration Plates from Service NSW at Warriewood Customer Service Centre (Full inspection fee of $80 will apply).
- Not fully compliant – Customer will be issued with an Interim Access Permit and has until the July 2021 reinspection day (registered vehicle) to retrofit the required items and have the vehicle reinspected (Full inspection fee of $80 will still apply).
- Non-compliant – Customer will be advised that the vehicle has been assessed as unsafe to drive and is not approved to use on Scotland Island as of the date inspection (The customer has the option to surrender the vehicle and the inspection fee will be waived, with Council also removing surrendered vehicles from Scotland Island at no charge).
The same SIRA News contained a link to a document by resident and buggy owner Brian Rodgers offering advice to other buggy owners on upgrading their vehicles to be complaint.
2021, January 19
NBC sent a letter to residents announcing the Scotland Island Vehicle Permit and the inspections that would take place.
The Scotland Island Road Reserve Strategy (SIRRS) recommended adoption of a Traffic Management Plan for the Island (pp. 38-39). Specific recommendations for this plan were taken from the results of a survey conducted by SIRA in July 2000 (see SIRRS Appendix D), including the provision that ‘Island roads should be closed and re-opened under Council control, with permits and regulations controlling vehicle numbers, weights, speeds etc.’
Council staff has now put forward two proposals, one to designate all Island roads as ‘Shared Zone’ with a 10 kph speed limit, the other to manage the numbers and types of vehicles on the Island through council permits. A council survey in March 2014 showed support for the speed limit proposal, which has now been approved by council and sent to RMS for approval. The survey indicated concerns about the ‘road closure’ proposal, so council staff will engage in additional community consultation before any further action is taken.
This document summarises earlier events related to the conditional registration: History of Golf Buggy Conditional Registration Scheme 2012-2017.
SIRA letter to Pittwater Council February 2013 re the 2012/2013 Scotland Island Road & Drainage Works Program.
After years of consultation and discussion, on July 18, 2011, the former Pittwater Council adopted a Master Plan consisting of these documents:
- Scotland Island Road Reserves and Stormwater Report (Pittwater Council) (June 2011);
- Scotland Island Road Reserve Strategy (September 2009);
- Scotland Island Road Reserve Strategy Accompanying Maps (September 2009);
- Scotland Island Stormwater Management Strategy (June 2011); and
- Scotland Island Road Reserve & Stormwater Management Implementation Plan (June 2011).
The Special Rate Variation adopted that same year provides $100,000 per year (indexed) for 10 years for capital improvements to the Island’s roads. The hope that Pittwater Council could attract additional funding through state and federal grants has not yet been realised.
The Roads & Drainage Subcommittee has worked closely with council staff each year to identify the highest priority capital improvement projects to be implemented within the budget constraints. These have focussed on improving drainage to reduce erosion and subsequent surface deterioration and pollution (siltation) of Pittwater.