Council has adopted the Aviation Road Laverton and Ferguson Street Williamstown North Level Crossing Precinct Plans and will now advocate to the Victorian Government for a funding partnership to enable implementation of the recommended upgrades, which would complement the Level Crossing Removal Projects (LXRP) work.
Both of the precinct plans include various improvements that address long standing community concerns about safety (including cyclist, pedestrian and vehicular), amenity and open space opportunities.
The community has steered the direction of the plans through a range of engagement opportunities, following considerable work undertaken by Council’s Community Interest Groups for both projects.
State government funding and consideration for the Ferguson Street Precinct Upgrade is one of Council’s Advocacy Priorities for 2020.
Aviation Road Precinct Plan
The Aviation Road LXRP process commenced in September 2016 with the total project package committed by LXRP to be delivered in two stages. Stage 1 of the project was delivered in 2019 comprising a road over rail solution, which is now operational.
An important pedestrian underpass to connect commuters to the nearby Aircraft Station will be completed in Stage 2, in parallel with level crossing removal works at Werribee and Cherry Streets in Werribee.
Representatives of the Laverton community, together with Council, have actively engaged with the state government through the design, development and delivery of Stage 1 through various means.
The Aviation Road Level Crossing Precinct Plan identifies opportunities at a broader precinct level and Council is now advocating for its implementation as part of Stage 2. The ideas and principles in the plan expand the focus of the project from road-based traffic and public transport to one that will deliver a greater integration to the surrounding area and increase community connectedness.
The Precinct Plan includes a variety of features such as:
- additional amenities in the station ‘plaza’ including a large flat screen display to support summer events/multi-media
- formalisation of the 100 spaces promised for the station car park
- end of trip cyclist facilities and a kiss and ride point
- weather protection measures on the Station platform
- safe pedestrian and cyclists connecting pathways into and through the precinct
- pedestrian safety improvements to the at-grade crossing point
Ferguson Street Precinct Plan
The final Ferguson Street Precinct Plan features an integrated multimodal transport hub, enhanced open space offerings and improved connectivity for the community of Williamstown and beyond.
The plan takes on board community feedback and is complementary to the LXRP design decision of rail under road with features including:
- safe pedestrian and cycling connecting pathways into and through the precinct
- retention of both station houses to be repurposed for the updated station and community use
- enlarged community plaza space providing safe access through the precinct and a key meeting point for commuters and students of nearby schools, Relocation of the Power Street playground further north, away from Ferguson Street
- ·no increase to the current car park capacity
- retention of existing established trees (subject to further formal assessment of their health condition) with additional trees to increase canopy shade
- intermodal hub providing a bus terminal, end of trip cyclist facilities and a kiss and ride point
After considering community feedback, Council has elected to consider all traffic measures at a later date in order to review any behavior change following the removal of the level crossing. The delivery of the LXRP project in the coming months will create a different environment that will present changes in pedestrian, cyclist and vehicular activity. Once the new environment is in place, Council will review data together with the state government to determine best placed measures to enable an efficient and safe road network within the precinct. This review will consider both the local and arterial roads within the precinct network.
As noted by Mayor of Hobsons Bay, Cr Colleen Gates
“We would like to thank the community for their input into both precinct plans and for their passion in seeking better outcomes in these areas. We were delighted with the number of responses and the insightful feedback that has helped create the final plans.
“Our community has spoken about what is meaningful to them in the Aviation and Ferguson LXRP areas. Our plans reflect these views and play a key role in addressing pedestrian and cyclist safety, protecting local heritage and environmental values. The state government will generate excellent community outcomes if they consider a bigger, more holistic plan for these two important areas.
“We have raised these items as key issues within the precincts and to date, they remain unresolved. We are looking forward to any future state government funding and partnership opportunities to deliver improvements for the people of Laverton and Williamstown.”