Interim measures for safety approved at Launceston's food van Eat Street | Photos

High Street

High Street

The speed limit on High Street at St George’s Square will be reduced to 20km/h and a range of other safety measures will be put in place when food van vendors are operating.

At Monday’s council meeting, the City of Launceston resolved to undertake the interim measures until September 30, while council officers investigate alternative sites to locate ‘Eat Street’.

In moving the motion Deputy Mayor Rob Soward said it was important to engage with all stakeholders to get the best result possible.

“To me this has been something that has been very, very successful and like things that are successful sometimes they become a victim of their own success,” he said.

“It might have outgrown that site or it might be the right site … [the review] will give as some opportunities where we have to make some decisions after we have done all the research.”

The original motion had recommended a speed reduction to 40km/h but Alderman Cox moved the amendment to lower the limit further.

“There is the potential for a tragedy  … no-one in their right mind, in hindsight, would put something that attracts public into a thoroughfare,” Ald Cox said.

Ald Janie Finlay urged the council to engage with vendors from more than just an infrastructure perspective.

“The nature and conversations are around the community, social and cultural aspects [of how Eat Street operates],” she said.

“This is not something that council did, it is something that naturally activated and we are looking to invest in activating spaces.”

She said the council’s substantial efforts of redeveloping parts of the central business district through the City Heart project was aimed at doing exactly what had organically occurred at St George’s Square.

The interests of other business owners, aside from the vendors, should also be recognised, according to Ald Darren Alexander.

“I have had people say to me ‘maybe I should shut down and just own a truck’ ... so I think we should have those conversations about also protecting those [brick and mortar] businesses,” he said. “I think there is room in this society and our community to have both those things but it is important that we engaged with all stakeholders.”

A pedestrian refuge at the intersection of Ann Street will also considered in the 2017-18 budget.

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