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Longford Main Street Revitalisation

Posted on August 09, 2022

The upgrade of Longford’s main street will benefit pedestrians, car users, the owners of heritage buildings and revitalise the town’s business centre.

Northern Midlands Mayor Mary Knowles, OAM, said today Council reaffirmed its commitment to the project which was the result of extensive public consultation including two public forums in 2016 and 2017.

“The resultant Longford Urban Design Strategy is a direct response to the main concern raised by the community at the forums which was increasing traffic through the town and the associated safety risks for people crossing the main street,” Mayor Knowles said.

She said the Main Street had been the focus of numerous consultations, reports, concept plans, directions and applications since 1994.

“This Urban Design Strategy consolidates all of these and brings forth all the actions that the majority of the community wanted,” Mayor Knowles said.

Mayor Knowles said Council had unanimously accepted the strategy in October 2017 and full details of the Longford streetscape upgrade were published in the Northern Midlands Courier in December last year.

“At that time the community was advised that representations regarding any specific issues about the impact of the upgrade could be submitted as part of the forthcoming development application process.

She said Council was always prepared to consider legitimate concerns as demonstrated by its willingness to examine a recent Bicycle Advisory Committee request to incorporate ridable kerbing or designated green bike lanes within the proposed kerb outstands.

Mayor Knowles said recent criticism of the streetscape upgrade was unwarranted and misinformed, both about current practices and national standards for street design.

“The road is a minimum of 3.6 metres wide at any point and all turning requirements and carriageway widths meet the appropriate Austroads road design requirements that are approved by the Tasmanian Government Department of State Growth.

“The proposed protuberances for pedestrians will not come out any further than those that currently exist in the street. They will be no wider than the cars and trucks that currently park in the street,” she said.

“Given the speed limit on main road is 50 kmph, it will not slow traffic.

“So far no-one has identified any specific improvement which they believe could impact on the movement of trucks or farm equipment,” Mayor Knowles said.

“What is certain is that pedestrians and all road users will benefit from the safety of the protuberances at the road intersections which provide significant improvements to lines of sight with no impact on trucks other than to improve visibility.

Mayor Knowles said cyclists would also gain from this improved visibility.

“Council is also advised that it is safer for cyclists to ride in the road rather than in the parallel car parking spaces as it is more difficult and dangerous for them to then re-enter traffic and they are obliged to abide by road rules such as signaling intention when turning into or out of a parking lane.

Mayor Knowles said the upgrade would enhance the Victorian Era appeal of the current streetscape and would have less impact on adjoining properties including the heritage structures.

“For example, the associated sub drainage works proposed adjacent to the heritage buildings will assist the removal of the rising damp problems of a number of the heritage structures that presently have solid pavement up to their stone walls which does not allow water to be drained away.

For further information, please contact Mayor Mary Knowles OAM on 0408 766 625.