Horsham Rural City Council municipal parking strategy to establish a walking culture

PLANS to transform Horsham into a walking town are moving forward. 

Horsham Rural City Council adopted its municipal parking strategy at a meeting on Monday night. 

The council’s planning and economic director Angela Murphy said, in a report to council, the Horsham parking consultative and advisory committee received four submissions. 

The responses were from Business Horsham, the Community Development Team and Horsham residents Robin Barder and Ronald Pannan. 

Ms Murphy said the submissions shaped several additions to the strategy which included covered walkways and incentives to encourage elderly people in the community to park and shop. 

She said the council would also look to improve amenities by increasing shade through street planning, verandahs and shade in the council-owned car parks. 

“[Council will] undertake an audit of accessible [disability] parks to ensure location meets the needs of users, and that the parking spaces meet the requirements of accessibility,” she said. 

“[Council will look to] improve and streamline signage and way finding [and] identify charge point locations for mobility scooters and e-cars.” 

Cr Mark Radford agreed the philosophy of a walking town was great – as long as the council catered to all members of the community. 

“Picking up Mr Pannan’s submission, he clearly asks that there be more disabled parking,” he said. 

“For some folks in our community, walking is not an option and adequate disabled parking is important.

“Currently, the numbers we have are the legal amount – but when we are encouraging the community to walk the walk, we also need to increase the disabled spots in the central business district to make it easier for folks to get in and out of their cars.” 

While the strategy promotes activity and economic growth through walking, Cr Alethea Gulvin said the strategy should have incorporated embracing a cycling community as well. 

“We are encouraging health and wellbeing and the ability to commute to places without using cars,” she said. 

“Where is the community’s ability to park their bikes somewhere safe? Most spaces are not easily recognised.” 

Mayor Pam Clarke said the strategy would help transform Horsham’s central business district into a dynamic area.