Council says it will consider improving pedestrian access

TRADERS are pushing for better access for pedestrians leaving the Ozone Car Park.

Warrnambool’s Frost Bite Stone Cold Ice-Creamery owner Rob Berger and Capitol Cinema manager Greg Gent said improved access was needed for people exiting the car park via Flaherty Lane onto Kepler Street.

UNSAFE: Business owner Rob Berger says improved pedestrian access via Flaherty Lane to Kepler Street is a must. Picture: Christine Ansorge

UNSAFE: Business owner Rob Berger says improved pedestrian access via Flaherty Lane to Kepler Street is a must. Picture: Christine Ansorge

Mr Berger said almost everyday he saw people walking in either the entry or exit lane and it was lucky no one had been injured.

“Everyday you see mothers with prams and children,” he said.

Mr Berger said Kepler Street had increased in popularity and was seeing more and more foot traffic.

“The area has built up,” he said. “It’s becoming a little hub.

“The council is improving foot access in other parts of the CBD. It’s only a matter of time that something will happen when you’ve got cars coming both directions.”

Mr Berger said one lane could be for traffic coming into the car park and they could continue to exit via Timor Street.

“Council is all into providing footpaths, it’s a good time for them to do something here,” he said.

Mr Gent echoed Mr Berger’s concerns and said it was not a a great situation for pedestrians, particularly those with prams.

“It’s not ideal,” he said.

“It’s not wide enough for people walking through.”

Warrnambool City Council Director City Infrastructure Scott Cavanagh said pedestrian safety improvements at Flaherty Lane would be considered by council as part of a larger grant application looking at pedestrian access and safety in Kepler Street.

“What is proposed for Flaherty Lane is similar to the arrangement recently introduced at Parkers Car Park, where there is now a one-way entrance from Lava Street into Parkers Car Park with a wide space marked out for pedestrian use only,” he said.

On Monday the council voted to not extend free parking in the Ozone and Parker’s car park during the city centre renewal. Instead the council agreed to make an extra 42 parks be made free during the works.