HORSHAM councillors have the future of Horsham’s transport planning at the forefront of their mind.
Six primary objectives were identified at a meeting on Monday night, which would guide the council’s transport planning for its own network, as well as, its advocacy to VicRoads.
The priorities included extra river crossings, improvements for pedestrians and cyclists and better connections between highways and industrial estates.
Another objective is to remove trucks, which do not originate or terminate in the central business district.
Councillor David Grimble said a river crossing to the western side of the city was a key priority to the council’s transport plans.
“I have noted that river crossing that is west of Horsham is the foundation stone, which was very clearly identified in the urban part of the Horsham Integrated Transport Strategy,” he said.
Cr Grimble said the town has complexities about the way it was dissected by five major highways. He said the council also needs to consider rail and plans for the bypass and the river, which were problematic.
Cr Mark Radford said the conversation has been too bypass focused in recent years and the council should move its attention on current transport issues in Horsham.
He said the river crossing, the roundabout on Darlot and Wilson Street and trucks driving through the town were key problems.
Cr John Robinson said he has concerns that Horsham would become two small towns divided by a river.
“I believe a river crossing is the foundation stone of what we need to do,” he said. “We are already seeing facilities pop up on the other side of the river and if it continues that will suck the life out the CBD.”
Cr Robinson said trucks should be removed from the CBD and river precinct.
“It worries me that there is about 400 houses and business premises that trucks drive passed when coming into Horsham. It should be urgent for us to rectify the issue.”
Cr Alethea Gulvin said a more active, vibrant CBD and river precinct would promote tourism, economic prosperity and the community’s wellbeing.
She said the council’s plans should place an emphasis on active transport opportunities such as walking and cycling.
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Cr Josh Koenig said the discussion about Horsham’s transport planning showed a mixture of key points that need to be addressed in order to make the CBD more active, vibrant and safe with trucks removed.
Mayor Pam Clarke said that identifying the council’s transport priorities would prompt a discussion about strategies, which could resolve the issues.
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