- Why was the road closed and is it a permanent closure?
Vic Roads closed Loop Road in November 2020 as part of the Hume Central Project. This site will be re-purposed into a multi-level car park to support the redevelopment of Hume Central.
- What is the alternative route?
The alternative route is via the existing arterial road network using Dimboola Road and Pearcedale Parade. Please refer to map.
- Did you look at other alternatives rather than to close an arterial road?
A key driver of the plan for Hume Central was to provide off-site parking within close walking distance to local facilities and services. While other sites were considered – from our own landholdings to neighbouring sites owned by other organisations - the reality was none of these had the capacity, accessibility or location in comparison to this site.
- What community engagement have you done about the removal of the road; this is the first I’ve heard of it?
Community feedback was captured during the development of the Broadmeadows Structure Plan 2012 and Greater Broadmeadows Framework Plan 2017 – both documents were initiated by the State Government.
Council also undertook significant community consultation as part of the development of its development framework, Hume Central – The Vision, which was adopted by Council in 2014.
Each of these planning documents considered how land should be used, what services and infrastructure that should be provided as well as the appropriate character and scale of new development. Carparking within walking distance of the site was identified as a key requirement.
- How will the removal of the road impact on my commuting time?
Traffic modelling has shown that the removal of the loop road will result in minimal impact on motorists. The proposed alternative route is approximately 750 metres longer but has slip lanes (also known as left turn lanes) at each turn. Slips lanes allow you to turn without stopping at traffic lights when it is safe to do so. The proposed route also ensures motorists remain on arterial roads rather than being diverted through side streets.
- What research did you do before proposing to close and remove the loop road?
To test the thinking, Council also trialled the closure of the existing loop road. It was determined the busiest day of the week was a Thursday, so the road was temporarily closed on a Thursday and observations of traffic flow movements were made.
There were no complaints, we presume because traffic was able to self-re-route with minimal disruption. The results were encouraging, so VicRoads undertook micro-simulation of the proposal which provided further evidence that the road closure was viable.
- What steps need to be undertaken before you close a road?
VicRoads, as the co-ordinating road authority for all arterial roads in Victoria, carefully considered the request to close the road.
After completing traffic analyses which showed minimal impact to motorists, VicRoads is supporting Hume Central - The Vision by facilitating the transfer of the loop road site to Hume Council for redevelopment into car parking.
A discontinuance process will be undertaken by VicRoads where there will be an opportunity to engage with VicRoads for up to 28 days should you have any concerns. Please refer to Q.10 for more information.
- Will I spend any more time in traffic as a result of the road being closed?
The removal of the loop road should have minimal impact on motorists. The alternative route means that the proposed route also ensures motorists remain on arterial roads rather being diverted through side streets, so traffic performance should be similar.
- Will the road closure impact pedestrians?
There will be no impact to pedestrians.
- What is an arterial road?
VicRoads is the coordinating road authority for all arterial roads in Victoria and has overall coordination responsibilities for all parts of the arterial road reserves. An arterial road is a main road that is managed by Vic Roads.
- Does that mean commercial trucks and B doubles will be travelling more frequently inside Hume Central?
The alternate route will keep commercial trucks and through-traffic to arterial roads on the periphery of Hume Central. While Hume Central will have some on-site car parking and motorists will be able access the site, it will only service passenger and delivery vehicles.
- When will the loop road be closing?
The road discontinuance process will begin in late 2019 with the permanent road closure expected to begin in ealry 2020. VicRoads will be undertaking the Statutory Road Discontinuance process, which includes a 28-day public notice and feedback period.
- What will be built on the loop road site?
Council will build a multi-level carpark that is hoped will incorporate several environmentally sensitive design elements. This will include, and is not limited to:
- Avoid the use of mechanical ventilation – open sided external walls
- Provision for electric vehicle recharging facilities
- Consideration of car share bays
- Investigate use of solar panels as façade treatment
- Investigate the use of small-scale wind turbines to offset power consumption
- Low energy LED lighting and lighting controls (sensors/timers)
- Stormwater management and integrate with landscaping watering with rain-water capture, and
- Vertical garden consideration as façade treatment.
- How many trees will be removed as part of the road closure?
There will be trees on the site that need to be removed to allow for the redevelopment. A biodiversity assessment has been undertaken, which determined that the vegetation proposed for removal does not represent a significant patch of native vegetation or contain listed native species.
Hume City Council has a commitment to sustainability and creating green spaces, so Council will be incorporating extensive landscaping and new tree planting as part of the redevelopment.
- Why are you removing vegetation to put up a car park? We need more trees not less.
The vegetation is part of the road reserve and does not provide for any passive or active recreational community use. While it is not ideal to remove vegetation, the overall plan will result in a better outcome for the community – increased tree canopy cover and vegetation that responds to local conditions and encourages biodiversity are among the objectives for the natural environment with the development of Hume Central – The Vision.
- Does the site have any Aboriginal cultural heritage significance?
A due diligence assessment has been undertaken which found there to be a low to negligible risk for Aboriginal cultural heritage to be present within the subject land.