Gloucester and Great Lakes were an active voice during MidCoast Council's community consultation over its Pedestrian Access and Mobility Plan (PAMP) / Bike Plan for the region which is reflected in the resulting draft plan.
Gloucester and Stroud has the second highest survey responses in the entire region, with 50 responses, second only to Forster/Tuncurry with 114, out of a total 396.
The results of these consultations and surveys have been collated in a draft plan which is now on public exhibition and ready for community feedback.
During a community consultation held in December 2019 in Gloucester the key issues identified were: links along Thunderbolts Way to Barrington; conflict between bikes and pedestrians on the heavy vehicle routes past the town centre; need to replace the damaged bridge in the parklands; missing sections of footpath to link to newly built areas; hard to access the quiet roads in the local areas without using busy main roads; steep pram ramps in some places and issues with conflict between parking needs and access.
What has resulted is a list of future projects proposed for consideration by council. Each have been given a score and a cost band rating.
Some of the higher rated projects include: connecting the town centre to the council building with a footpath and a pedestrian crossing over Ravenshaw Street; addressing safety issues with crossing along Ravenshaw Street due to it being a heavy vehicle bypass and a school zone; and constructing links from the high school to the wider road network for the students cycling sport activity.
According to council's infrastructure and engineering services director Rob Scott, the draft plan has been designed to guide the future development of pedestrian and cycle routes across the region.
"We know how important it is for our community to see improved pedestrian and mobility access across the region and this draft plan has been 12 months in the making," Mr Scott said.
Consultants Stantec not only undertook an independent review of the region's existing pedestrian and cycle routes but have also identified future key routes.
"By improving accessible footpaths, shared pathways, cycleways, bike facilities and community pedestrian/cycle systems we hope it makes it easier for everyone to get out and enjoy our beautiful region," Mr Scott said.
"These links will contribute to health and wellbeing outcomes of our communities through active recreation, and encouraging the incorporation of active transport networks into future development will promote positive environmental and social outcomes.
The next stage of the process is to seek feedback and council is inviting members of the community to view the draft plan at www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/Have-Your-Say/Pedestrian-Access-and-Mobility-Plan-Bike-Plan
Submissions close on Friday, December 11 at 4.30pm.