Truck ban mooted for laneways

Little Malop, James and Union St. Picture Jay Town.
Little Malop, James and Union St. Picture Jay Town.

TRUCKS and delivery vans could be banned from the burgeoning Laneways precinct.

The City of Greater Geelong is surveying traders and local residents on the idea, which could see certain vehicles blocked from accessing Little Malop St and James St.

It has already drawn support from prominent developer Bill Votsaris, who has invested millions in the strip in recent years.

He said most traders were in favour of closing the area off to trucks, as well as a partial ban on medium-sized vehicles in Little Malop St - but not James St - during certain times.

"Having massive trucks drive past while people are dining, and almost touching the barriers, is definitely inappropriate and not safe," he said.

"Our view is council should provide appropriate loading bays, for example on Moorabool St, to service those businesses (using larger trucks)."

Mr Votsaris said some traders needed access for deliveries, but suggested limits be placed on the size of vehicles and the times they could use Little Malop St.

"Instead of having very large trucks, have smaller ones, and have them pick it up early in the morning before businesses open - that's the view of most of the traders," he said.

"They want to make it very much a place for people to freely walk around.

"It's not a major thoroughfare anyway; it's not really servicing a lot of cars."

The Laneways precinct, which involved a $4 million overhaul, was unveiled last month and included more alfresco dining spaces, trees, public art, street furniture and improved lighting.

The City's acting director of investment and attraction, Tim Ellis, said space was at a premium in the precinct and the movement of delivery vehicles was an issue.

"Many people have raised the importance of trying to minimise the amount of trucks and deliveries that occur within the precinct, particularly those that occur during trading hours and detract from the amenity of the area," he said.

"We are keen to find the best solution that has the least impact on the businesses and residents in the area.

"The survey is a trader-supported initiative and we are working with the traders to achieve the best outcome for the precinct."

Mr Ellis said the council was open to a range of suggestions, including new loading bays and time restrictions for deliveries.

The survey is open until January 19.