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Longford Main Street Upgrade Changes

Posted on November 02, 2023

Changes to plans to upgrade Longford’s main street to benefit pedestrians, car users, the owners of heritage buildings and revitalise the town’s business centre will be considered by Northern Midlands Council at its next meeting.

Northern Midlands Mayor Mary Knowles, OAM, said today Council had made some significant changes to the original proposal released last year following concerns by some residents that the streetscape upgrade would impede the movement of farm machinery and trucks.

“Following discussions between Council officers and the Tasmanian Truck Owners and Operators Association in February and with the Bicycle advisory Committee and the Longford District Committee, we believe that these changes represent a fair compromise that will benefit all road users in this important heritage streetscape,” Mayor Knowles said.

“It is important to note that the Department of State Growth has endorsed and given consent to the streetscape design detailed in the planning application. All turning requirements and carriageway widths meet the appropriate Austroads road design requirements.

“The proposal does not decrease the 3.5m wide carriageway any less than the current street trees, pedestrians crossing points that protrude into the road or cars when parked in the street as is the current practice.

Mayor Knowles said the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) governed all vehicle widths/loads greater than 2.50m. Permits, signage and escorts were required for greater widths.

“While agricultural equipment is exempt from permits under the NHVR they are still required to have the appropriate safety measures in place when greater than 3.5m width or 12.5m in length.

Mayor Knowles said the proposal includes bicycle lanes which will give connectivity to future shared paths that will be identified in the Council’s shared pathways strategy once completed.

“These bicycle paths also should not cause problems for trucks and agricultural equipment as, under Tasmania Road Rules, Section 158, it is permitted to drive in bicycle lanes for up to 50m when overtaking a car turning right, or to avoid an obstruction and to cross it to enter streets, car parking spaces and driveways.

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

The changes to the plan to address concerns include:

  • The removal of the kerb protrusion on the North-Eastern corner of Union Street
  • Significant reduction of the protrusion adjacent to Lyttleton Street
  • Inclusion of a 50m Long Truck Zone adjacent to Lyttleton street for users to access Councils 24hr public amenities
  • Reduction of all other protrusions such as pedestrian points, and rain gardens throughout the proposal
  • Inclusion of bicycle lanes from Union Street to Archer Street
  • A centre median strip from Smith to Archer Street has been removed to accommodate cycle lanes

Mayor Knowles said it should be remembered the proposed upgrade of the streetscape 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.

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

The closing date for representations regarding the planning application PLN-23-0188 is Friday 3 November 2023.

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