HORSHAM council will revisit a strategy focused on resolving congestion issues in Horsham before it makes a decision on constructing a second pedestrian bridge across the Wimmera River.
Horsham Rural City councillors, during their latest meeting on Monday night, had a chance to endorse the start of a preliminary detailed plan for a pedestrian bridge near the vicinity of Hamilton Street.
However, Cr David Grimble stressed the council’s decisions need strategic justification around priorities before coming to a final decision.
He moved a motion to defer a preliminary plan for the pedestrian bridge and instead start the second stage of a Horsham integrated transport strategy to identify the council’s highest priorities for the urban area.
The strategy examines congestion issues in and near the city centre, connections to residential growth areas and how a proposed Horsham bypass will affect links to regional highways.
Cr Grimble said the council needed to “take a step back” and identify the needs of the community.
He said the council gave the pedestrian bridge an aggregate of a medium priority – to be completed between four and seven years.
“The strategy would pick up what the community would want to introduce – the rail corridor, pedestrian access, footpaths, bike trails – a raft of integrated transport and feed that introduce some priorities,” he said.
“It could pick up whether the access over the Wimmera River should be another pedestrian bridge or vehicular and a pedestrian bridge.”
Mayor Pam Clarke said connecting the south side of Horsham to the central side of Horsham was a discussion that dated back 10 years.
She said she supported a preliminary detailed plan of a second pedestrian bridge, which would allow community discussion.
“There was a lot of discussion around a bridge that would allow school children to exit the estate in a safe manner,” she said. “It is a vital piece of infrastructure that will alleviate the traffic burden at Stawell Road and Williams Road.”
Crs Grimble, John Robinson, Josh Koenig, Les Power, Mark Radford and Alethea Gulvin voted to examine council’s priorities via the transport strategy while Cr Clarke voted to move forward with the bridge plan.