An annual Christmas lights display won't go ahead this year after the City of Launceston council halted the event organiser's plans.
For the past two years, one Alanvale Road homeowner has spent months at the end of each year adorning his residence in decorations and an audiovisual display, in time for Christmas Eve.
Newnham resident Max Jago said traffic was backed up onto the highway at the event's previous editions, as fleets of vehicles drove past his house to view the $88,000 solar-powered show.
Initially, he tried to combat this issue by hiring traffic management services at his own expense, however, after a range of issues persisted, including children being on the road, he was forced to explore other avenues.
This led Mr Jago to submit a road closure application to council, which if successful, would have enabled the road closure as well as the implementation of diversions for traffic, access for emergency service vehicles and car parking nearby.
That plan was subsequently knocked back, even after a traffic management industry representative, who was put forward to council, said it was measured and sensible.
"They said that if I made it an official event, with all the necessary insurance, they'd close the road," he said.
"I thought 'Oh God now I've got to do a COVID management plan, with a check in and all of that stuff', but I decided to do it all, which cost me a small fortune."
After multiple attempts, the council approved Mr Jago's request, and although it wasn't in time for Christmas, it meant an October Halloween display could go ahead in a safe environment.
"It was great, the road closure worked extremely well and kept traffic flowing perfectly, while maintaining peoples safety," he said.
"The short detour had minimal impact on neighbouring properties."
The success led Mr Jago to feel confident about lodging the same request, in the exact location, for December 24.
However, late last month he received notification from council's roads and traffic team informing him that his request to close Alanvale Road on Christmas Eve was not supported.
Mr Jago said that although the council recognised the community value of the event, they did not believe those benefits outweighed the costs that would need to be borne by the community members who needed to use Alanvale Road to travel during the period of eight to 11pm on that specific night.
He said their data showed that even on a typical Friday night the road still catered for a reasonable volume of traffic, and expected that on Christmas Eve this demand would be much higher, while the communities tolerance for congestion and delays would be much lower.
Mayor Albert Van Zetten said the road was a major arterial route through one of Launceston's larger suburbs, and believed the speed limit reduction that council proposed would better balance the needs of all road users.
"Alanvale Road remains a major connector road within Newnham and is used not only by residents, but also freight companies, public transport, emergency services ... many of whom continue to operate throughout the Christmas and New Year period," he said.
Mr Jago believed these were moot points and argued that between that window of time, an estimated 90 per cent or more of the traffic on Alanvale Road would be people out looking for Christmas lights.
He said he had never seen freight trucks drive on the road after 8pm, and believed if homeowners or emergency services wanted to access to the road, traffic management officers would allow entry.
"How can they say that a slight inconvenience for a small amount of people is a greater loss than losing an event for the community and children?" he said.
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