Traffic was brought to a standstill along Pertobe Road on Saturday and Sunday as the popular beach route was reduced to one entry and exit point due to construction works on Edwards Bridge.
Events at the Warrnambool Surf Life Saving Club and Warrnambool Lawn Tennis attracted more than 1800 competitors between them and fine weather meant families were out enjoying the long weekend.
A temporary long weekend traffic measure saw the closure of all Pertobe Road right-hand turning lanes, including those into Lake Pertobe, Discovery Parks caravan park, Mini Golf by the Sea and Price Street which leads to the BMX track.
The lane closures forced cars wanting to turn right at any of those points to travel the length of Pertobe Road to complete a U-turn at the Stanley Street roundabout.
A Warrnambool City Council spokesman said with the bridge under construction and thousands of visitors in the city for events, council decided to close the right-hand turning lanes. "This was the safest option with only one access point into Pertobe Road," he said.
He said the decision was made in consultation with event managers at the tennis and surf lifesaving clubs and managing the traffic over the weekend came at a $5000 cost to ratepayers.
"Had the right-hand turns been permitted there would have been the potential for traffic blockages as motorists waited for opportunities to turn right at several points along Pertobe Road," he said.
IN OTHER NEWS:
The Standard witnessed motorists on Sunday either driving around the cones or moving them aside despite the closures.
"Our observations were that the vast majority of drivers were patient and courteous," the spokesman said. "In most years over this weekend Pertobe Road is extremely busy."
He said residents were notified via the council website and social media and people were encouraged to park at Cannon Hill and Flagstaff Hill. "Given that no road was closed council did not correspond with individual businesses in relation to these traffic management measures," he said.
Surf club president John McNeil said it supported the move because of the large number of pedestrians in the area and the move helped slow traffic.
"If you're carrying an eight-foot Malibu or a 16-foot ski across roads the last thing you need is a guy coming along there doing 60 or 70 ks an hour.
"Council could see the amount of people moving across Pertobe Road with tennis racquets, kids, surf boards and trailers and boats. They thought 'let's slow it right down'," he said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Now just one tap with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with The Standard:
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.