Trol­ley trou­ble, still

Monthly Chronicle - - News - Jenny Bar­lass

finding a so­lu­tion to the trol­ley scourge for three years now.

For decades aban­doned shop­ping trol­leys have been an is­sue in the area and Hornsby Coun­cil has tried to re­solve the headache with West­field, re­tail­ers and trol­ley col­lec­tion con­trac­tors, as yet with no suc­cess­ful so­lu­tion.

Last March West­field agreed to in­stall a wheel lock­ing sys­tem that would lock trol­leys at all exit points to the West­field Shop­ping Cen­tre. Yet over a year later, rather than in­stalling a sys­tem that would pre­vent all trol­leys from leav­ing their cen­tre as pre­vi­ously agreed, West­field now wants to in­stall a sys­tem that would al­low trol­leys to leave their Cen­tre and ac­cess Hornsby Mall.

It’s propos­ing the four outer bound­aries of the Mall are where the lock­ing sys­tem is in­stalled.

Hornsby Coun­cil has re­jected West­field’s pro­posed perime­ter sys­tem and has written to them ask­ing for a for­mal re­sponse. “The Coun­cil thinks West­field has been slack in re­solv­ing this,” said Cllr Til­bury.

“It presents un­ac­cept­able amenity and ac­cess is­sues for Hornsby Mall which is the most traf­ficked pub­lic space in the Shire.

“If the wheel lock­ing is in­stalled at those ex­its, it be­comes Coun­cil’s re­spon­si­bil­ity rather than theirs.”

Yet there are suc­cess­ful in-cen­tre wheel lock­ing sys­tems at West­field Bondi and Chatswood. “West­field was at one point con­cerned the trol­leys would block its ex­its. A way round this is to in­stall a five or six me­tre buf­fer be­tween the lock­ing sys­tem and the doors, so trol­leys aren’t log-jammed at ex­its.

“If West­field doesn’t com­mit to in­stalling such a sys­tem, Coun­cil has passed a No­tice of Mo­tion to start im­pound­ing and charg­ing $120 for each trol­ley im­pounded and their re­turn.”

At $120 a trol­ley, and with the pound a long way from Hornsby, this could prove prob­lem­atic for the su­per­mar­kets. Cur­rently 70% of dis­carded trol­leys are from Coles, 20% from Woolworths and the rest from smaller West­field re­tail­ers like Dan Mur­phy.

“In the mean­time Coun­cil's com­pli­ance of­fi­cers will be reg­u­larly fol­low­ing up and fin­ing as re­quired un­til this is­sue is re­solved once and for all.”

A West­field spokesper­son said that be­cause of “po­ten­tial safety haz­ards, we are un­able to in­stall a wheel lock­ing sys­tem at the im­me­di­ate en­trance and exit points of the cen­tre.

“We are ask­ing coun­cil to con­sider the pro­posal to in­stall a wheel lock­ing sys­tem at the bound­ary of Hornsby Mall, which would al­low for better in­te­gra­tion be­tween West­field Hornsby and the Town Cen­tre for cus­tomers and suc­cess­fully re­duce the num­ber of trol­leys on the streets whilst al­low­ing for the ease of trol­ley col­lec­tion.

“We’ll con­tinue dis­cus­sions with Hornsby Coun­cil un­til an agree­ment has been made and we are work­ing with our re­tail part­ners, who own the trol­leys, to col­lect these in a timely man­ner.”

Cllr Nathan Til­bury with “dozens” of trol­leys block­ing a fire exit at West­field (Photo taken in March)

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