Residents have been urged to walk or cycle to their shops as the rollout of expanded outdoor dining gathers pace across the Mornington Peninsula.
Mornington Peninsula Shire Council traffic and transport team leader Tom Haines-Sutherland urged people to make the move as carparks were used for outdoor dining areas in line with COVID-safe practices. “Outdoor dining inevitably means slightly fewer parking spaces, but it’s vital we do this to support our local businesses and local jobs.”
Mr Haines-Sutherland said that without open-air trading, many businesses would be unviable under the current COVID restrictions. “It’s also better for people to be outdoors rather than indoors right now.”
Mr Haines-Sutherland said outdoor dining had been set up in Mornington, Mount Eliza, Mount Martha, Blairgowrie, Rosebud, Rye and Sorrento. “This means traffic has been slowed in these townships, which is crucial to ensure the safety of shoppers and diners in the slow street zones. We’re asking people to slow down and walk or cycle to the shops where possible. Our priority is to ensure accessible parking spots for those with a disability remain available as close as possible to our township centres.”
Mr Haines-Sutherland said the partial closure of Main St, Mornington, and other traffic measures around the Peninsula were proposed until the end of February. “We encourage anyone to contact us with feedback on how this initiative can be improved. We are still trialling, learning and adjusting.”