Council releases transport ideas
Aproposal to establish alternative truck routes around Horsham is part of a Horsham municipal plan released for community consideration.
Horsham Rural City Council has released its draft Urban Transport Plan to provide guidance in helping solve major transport issues in and around the Wimmera centre.
The plan, which the council has developed for the past six months, also presents design opportunities to improve safety and circumstances for pedestrians and cyclists.
Removing the bulk of trucks travelling on the Western Highway between Melbourne and Adelaide from Horsham’s heart has been on a municipal and community wish-list for many years.
The issue has for several years been an integral part of intense debate surrounding planning for a long-term highway bypass of Horsham.
While debate has at times stalled and polarised community sentiment, the amount of transport traffic moving through Horsham has continued to grow.
The issue has continually raised community concerns, especially where highway routes pass and are near schools.
Horsham mayor Mark Radford encouraged Wimmera people to review the draft plan and submit their feedback.
“The Horsham Urban Transport Plan is a culmination of consultation work that has been happening over recent months,” he said.
“There are a series of recommendations for improvements for safety and amenity.
“A key part of the plan is a proposal to design and advocate for alternative truck routes around Horsham.
“Freight movements on the five highway entrances to Horsham provide challenges for both the trucking industry and our residents.”
The draft plan is based on six themes with a series of plans and proposals that support overarching aims to create a safe and efficient network and building on Horsham’s established reputation as a major regional city.
The themes are Streets for People, Local Access, Public Transport, Parking, Cycling and Regional Links.
Cr Radford said the plan was more than simply addressing route issues involving heavy freight vehicles.
He said it was instead about creating a street network where people could move, where Horsham Central Business District was active and vibrant and where people felt safe in a growing city with increased traffic.
“There are some exciting design opportunities that build on other strategic work already undertaken or underway,” he said.
“We are very keen for the community to give us their ideas as to which strategies and actions should be prioritised for budget consideration.”
The plan and a feedback survey are available on the council’s website and at the council’s offices at Horsham Civic Centre.
People have a 10-week response time – up until December 9 – to consider the plan and provide feedback.
Regional Roads Victoria, meanwhile, is investigating a need to install new flashing electronic signs to better alert drivers to a school zone in Mcpherson Street, part of the Western Highway route through Horsham.
Roads and Road Safety Minister Jaala Pulford said additional static 40kmh speed-limit signs had been installed at Mcpherson Street and Natimuk Road crossings and new 40kmh school-zone signs would replace faded signs in Mcpherson Street in the next months.
“I know Regional Roads Victoria has been working with schools and some improvements have already been made – including upgraded LED lights at the Mcpherson Street crossing to improve visibility, and new signs at both Mcpherson Street and Natimuk Road.”
“The Victorian Government is always looking at ways we can improve safety, particularly for our most vulnerable pedestrians – including students walking to and from school.”