Strapper's Mike Di Sciascio, One Agency's Shaun O'Callaghan, Cr Martin Duke from the Surf Coast Shire and the Transport Accident Commission's Tim Naughtin emulate the Beatles on one of the new crossings on The Esplanade. Photo: JAMES TAYLOR

Pedestrian-friendly works step out in Torquay

November 28, 2019 BY

SIGNIFICANT changes have recently been made along The Esplanade and Bell Street to help increase the safety of cyclists and pedestrians.

This has included the implementation of extra zebra crossings, and a 40 kilometre per hour speed limit along parts of The Esplanade and all of Bell Street.

These works come as part of the Surf Coast Shire’s Traffic and Pedestrian Strategy for The Esplanade and Bell Street that the council approved earlier in the year.

The strategy states it “aims to provide an environment where traffic movement is secondary to pedestrian accessibility and cycling”.

The rationale for this is that Torquay’s continued growth will eventually make maintaining cars as the primary method of transport in the area unsustainable.

During the height of holiday season, up to 9,000 vehicles to the central Torquay precinct each day.

Another factor in the changes along The Esplanade is the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.

Surf Coast Shire general manager of governance and infrastructure Anne Howard said the council had taken the opportunity to better facilitate the race while improving overall safety.

“With the recent upgrade and improvements on The Esplanade, we took the opportunity to alter the existing concrete islands so that they’re removable for events.

“This includes Race Torquay, which we are proud to be hosting as part of the world-class international cycling event – the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.”

Ms Howard said the council also planned at some stage to install a roundabout where Zeally Bay Road meets The Esplanade.

“A roundabout at The Esplanade-Zeally Bay Road intersection is part of Council’s long-term vision, as we aim to enhance car, bicycle and pedestrian movement along The Esplanade and improve links between the town centre and foreshore.”

The long-term cost of all these changes is estimated to amount to just over a million dollars.