Coun­cil re­leases trans­port ideas

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

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.”

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