In collaboration with the community and local businesses, Council has developed a four-phase program to respond to the expected surge of visitors as COVID restrictions across the state are gradually eased.
Council sees its role as ensuring the safety of the community and supporting businesses to operate under Victorian Government rules.
Following the last easing of restrictions in May, our Shire experienced some challenges, especially in Vincent Street Daylesford. Large numbers of people queuing for take away food and drinks made it difficult for pedestrians to use footpaths and walkways while keeping the appropriate distance from each other.
The recently announced Victorian Government Outdoor Dining and Hospitality Package allows hospitality businesses to offer outdoor dining options, including footpath trading, to increase their number of permitted patrons. If cafes in Vincent St take this up, which Council supports, overcrowding on the footpaths will certainly become an issue.
The Council’s plan responds to increasing levels of pedestrian traffic to ensure that people can continue to move along the street safely and physical distancing can be maintained, while allowing for more outside dining to support businesses.
Phase 1 – The current situation in Daylesford
- Increased COVID-safe signage
- Increased cleaning of amenities and installing infrastructure to encourage physical distancing
- Increased visits to businesses by Economic Development and Environmental Health staff, along with Victoria Police in high traffic areas, to support operators and answer questions.
Phase 2 – If visitor numbers are leading to overcrowding which makes moving about unsafe, phase 2 would remove parallel parking from Vincent St and reduce the speed limit to 20km/hr.
The decision to move to phase 2 would be made by Council on the recommendation of a committee made up of Council, the Department of Health and Human Services and Victoria Police.
Phases 3 and 4 are only proposals at this stage but would initially reduce Vincent St to one-way, speed limited traffic, which would allow the whole of the eastern side to be used for outdoor dining. If overcrowding is still a problem, Vincent St could be closed to traffic from the pedestrian crossing to Central Springs Rd.
Council is already monitoring the visitor levels across our region. So far, they have been very pleased to see visitors and locals wearing masks and complying with the physical distancing guidelines.
More details of the proposal are available on the Shire’s website at https://www.hepburn.vic.gov.au/phases-easing-restrictions/
If you have any feedback for the Council, contact email@example.com or ring 5348 2306