A proposed plan put forth by the Department of Transport in which a limited section of the Geelong CBD would benefit from passenger, bike and vehicle movement has been rejected by the Geelong Council.
Asked to endorse a plan that did not include adequate measures to provide efficient transport connections for east-west travelling heavy vehicles, the Geelong Council has voted in favour of an amendment put forward by councilor Eddy Kontelj, that instead requests City Staff and the Department of Transport produce region-wide plans with the aim of establishing "an effective, efficient, safe and world class public transport network."
Kontelj’s amendment was carried on a 10-1 vote, with all councillors in favour except councillor Jim Mason.
Feedback on the draft Transport Network Operating Plan released late last year supported directing trucks away from Ryrie Street, but indicated strong concern from McKillop Street residents about the possibility of increased heavy vehicle travel in front of their homes.
Kontelj emphasised that any decision to reroute heavy vehicles safely must not come at a cost of productivity for commercial vehicle operators.
The council resolved to advocate to the State Government on several major transport initiatives including upgrades of Fyans Street and Breakwater Road, aimed at encouraging heavy vehicles to use these routes in preference to Ryrie and McKillop Streets; and a viability and financial assessment to plan and build a bridge across Corio Bay.
Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher said the amendment was a determination by
council that the shape and intent of the Transport Network Operating Plan in its present form fails to meet what is needed to achieve terms of traffic and transport solutions in the Greater Geelong region.
"The document is myopic. Council wants to see a region-wide approach to transport planning, given movement in surrounding suburbs and towns impacts traffic flow into and through the CBD," she said.
"It’s also essential that all public transport, including buses, is included in any long-term plan," said Asher.