Tourism Traffic & Parking Strategy draft out for public comment
December 13, 2018
Colac Otway Shire Council has responded to the rapid increase in tourism in coastal and Otways towns with the release of its draft Tourism Traffic and Parking Strategy for public exhibition.
Shire Mayor Jason Schram said the strategy's development was the first step in addressing parking and traffic issues in Apollo Bay, Skenes Creek, Marengo, Wye River, Separation Creek Lavers Hill, Forrest and Kennett River.
"The draft strategy will go on public exhibition so the communities that have to deal with tourist traffic can have their say and provide feedback on the plan before council finalises it next year," Cr Schram said.
"Once the strategy is adopted we can use it to guide infrastructure development and support state and federal funding applications so council can gain the money to improve parking and safety.
"The draft plan focuses on the towns along the Great Ocean Road, along with Forrest because of its location on the shire's main inland route from the coast.
"Council used the results of local traffic counts in each town over the Australia Day weekend this year, as well as all the information and concerns gathered from the community and various agencies.
"We know local residents are concerned about drivers speeding, pedestrian safety, town entrances and international driver behaviour.
"The strategy proposes consistent, safer speed limits, safer access for pedestrians, better management for tourist buses, changes to signs and looking at making sure international drivers comply with rules and regulations.
“But ultimately speed limits and some other proposals in the strategy will be the decision of VicRoads as the road authority,” he said.
"The draft document also considers the need for an investigation into the location and number public toilets, which Council is already looking into as part of next year's budget process.”
Cr Schram said he urged local residents and business owners to look at the draft, go to the community information sessions planned for the coast early next year and have their say on the important plan to tackle tourism traffic and parking issues.
The draft Tourism Parking and Traffic Strategy can be viewed online at www.colacotway.vic.gov.au or at Council's Customer Service Centres at Apollo Bay or Colac.
The closing date for submissions is Friday 15 March 2019.