Councillors have instructed the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River’s chief executive to deliver a report by the end of next month to explore any other option to relieve traffic woes at Rapids Landing. The latest move came amid last week’s rejection of a bid by the Lester Group to get council backing for a WA Planning Commission application to upscale their commercial centre in the subdivision. It also follows a survey of Rapids Landing Primary School parents desperate for a solution to congestion. During last week’s spiky debate, which split the council 4-3 against the application, Cr Naomi Godden said the developers were using the supermarket bid as leverage against the Shire rather than building two promised access routes to relieve school commuter congestion. In arguing support for the developer’s application and against the advice of Shire planners, Cr Brian Daniel lashed colleagues for inaction on the road issue during the past four-year term on council. He said it was “ridiculous” councillors had not acted on the road impasse until now and supporting the supermarket expansion was the fastest solution. Instead, speaking against the application, now-retired deputy Shire president Pauline McLeod said the Shire could build the roads “recouping all costs from the developer”. Planners said the commercial precinct was always considered “a small local neighbourhood supermarket” and the structure plan for Rapids Landing contained no mechanism to force road construction. Previously, developer Stuart Lester said the road infrastructure had to be built at the same time as the commercial centre for the sake of financial viability. Rapids Landing principal Lisa Helenius said urgent action was needed without more delays. “We find it remarkable that after almost four years of operation, there is still only one entry and exit, and that we do not have all perimeter roads constructed around our school,” she said. “For the safety of our students, staff, parents, carers and wider community, we will continue to work with all parties to achieve a more positive and safe outcome. Our students deserve it.” The survey found an overwhelming number of parents were very concerned about road access, with bushfire risk the mostly frequently cited fear. Also, 55 per cent of commuters cited accidents or near misses, with 97 individual survey responses indicating serious problems turning right onto Bussell Highway heading into Margaret River. Respondents were asked for a rating out of five for how strongly they believed second access was needed, producing an average response 4.94. Rapids Landing school board chair Tash Arthur said she was rear-ended while waiting to exit the subdivision and expected a solution soon.