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Deputy Lord Mayor moves to expedite pedestrian improvements across Newcastle

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A passionate councillor is hoping to deliver key pedestrian and active transport infrastructure more efficiently throughout City of Newcastle (CN).

Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen admits he’s concerned by community feedback regarding the need for new and improved junctions in Newcastle, Mayfield, Cooks Hill, Hamilton North and Merewether.

So, in a bid to rectify the situation, he, and his Newcastle Labor colleagues, will present an initiative – at Tuesday night’s council meeting on 27 June – to streamline the Newcastle Local Pedestrian Crossing Policy (NLPCP).

The move would allow CN to approve and implement selected pedestrian works without seeking a “green light” from the NSW Government’s Transport for NSW or the TfNSW controlled Local Traffic Committee.

“I’ve been contacted by local residents, school P&Cs and community groups who have been calling for crossing improvements in a number of busy locations across the city,” Cr Clausen said.

“But, we’ve often been hamstrung by bureaucratic red tape, which can leave everyone feeling frustrated.

“By reducing the number of approval hurdles for pedestrian safety infrastructure enhancements, it would simplify the process for many things while managing vehicle speeds.

“I want to see improvements that have been identified in collaboration between City of Newcastle and the community delivered as fast and as efficiently as possible.

“So, I welcome recognition from Transport for NSW that local councils should be able to exercise their understanding of local needs to deliver these key pedestrian improvements.

“Under this new proposed policy, CN would implement the appropriate designs according to industry standards, specification and technical directions, while adhering to the appropriate Australian Standard and Austroads Guidelines.

“It will also allow council to move quickly when a new opportunity for an improved pedestrian crossing connection or active transport link is identified by the community, as well as cut down on the approval times it takes to deliver improved safety outcomes for Novocastrians.”

Cr Clausen said implementing a new streamlined strategy would help illuminate further opportunities to improve pedestrian safety throughout Newcastle, too.

“Through the development of this policy, I know that City of Newcastle staff will welcome community input into other key locations across Newcastle, which are in need of improved pedestrian safety infrastructure such as crossings and refuges,” he stated.

“I will ensure that we give residents a chance to offer feedback and suggestions for sites across the entire Newcastle Local Government Area (LGA).”

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