29 January 2021

No more roaming window washers on Northbourne Avenue due to light rail

| Lachlan Roberts
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Simon has been a window washer at the intersection of Barry Drive and Northbourne Avenue for a dozen years. Photo: Lachlan Roberts.

Roaming car window washers are no longer allowed to ply their trade at major intersections along Northbourne Avenue due to the arrival of the light rail this weekend.

Window washing has been banned at five intersections along the light rail corridor, including the Flemington Road and Federal Highway intersection, Barton Highway and Federal Highway intersection, Antil Street and Northbourne Avenue, Wakefield Avenue and Northbourne Avenue and Barry Drive and Northbourne Avenue intersection.

Signs posted along the five intersections by Transport Canberra and the ACT Government stated that “due to light rail safety concerns, it is now an offence to undertake on-road commercial activities within 50 metres of the intersections”.

READ ALSO The best window cleaning services in Canberra

On-road commercial activities include window washing, displaying ads, selling or offering items for sale, hitchhiking or seeking contributions or employment from someone in a vehicle.

The ACT Government said undertaking these activities could result in court action or an infringement penalty of $75.

A Transport Canberra spokesperson said the legislation prohibiting on-road commercial activities at the five “high-risk” intersections has been in effect since October last year and the approach to date has been to educate the community about the change in legislation.

Police will use their discretion as to whether to issue an infringement notice or provide a warning if window washers are caught at the intersections. Photo: George Tsotsos.

“Light rail safety is of paramount priority,” the spokesperson said. “The intention is to ensure pedestrian safety across the entire light rail alignment. This new section regulation is due to safety concerns for pedestrians obstructing traffic and interacting with the light rail.

“The five intersections represent intersections and specific locations where light rail services are active and provide the greatest safety concerns to members of the public who provide on-road commercial activities.”

The spokesperson said the new legislation was a result of lengthy consultation with community groups, AFP, ACT Policing, the Human Rights Commission, Canberra Metro, Community Services Directorate and Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate.

The ACT is the only jurisdiction that currently allows a person to solicit contributions, employment or business from a person in a vehicle or wash or clean or offer to clean the windscreen of a vehicle, without a permit.

The spokesperson said notifications have been sent out to community groups and charity organisations informing the recent changes to laws in the territory relating to pedestrians undertaking on-road commercial activities.

We’ll move to another intersection, window washers say

Simon, who has been a window washer at the intersection of Barry Drive and Northbourne Avenue for over a dozen years, said he plans to move to a different intersection along the corridor.

He said he had heard through word-of-mouth from his friends that they would have to move to a different intersection.

“I haven’t been told which five intersections we have been banned from,” he said. “My mate got told by some government person that he couldn’t work on the straight on Northbourne Avenue.

“I would expect them to come to tell me but they haven’t.

“I have been working at this intersection for 12 or 13 years and I haven’t been hit before so I don’t see why I would now.”

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If you consider yourself a ‘progressive’and you hate the sight and actions of people struggling to make a living then you a first class hypocrite. You almost certainly, as a first world class hypocrite, routinely and smugly flaunt your progressive social credentials by voting Labor/Greens.

It was already illegal according to Australian Road Rules – why are they only doing something about it now?

Ok, if there’s a serious safety issue, they should be moved but why be down on people who may be doing it tough? Nobody says you have to use their service or give them money; live and let live and show a bit of compassion. I drove a clearly marked community service transport car for years and these guys would often wash my screen and waive away any form of payment.

Lots of vehicles with dirty windscreens involved in accidents with trams on Northbourne?

Capital Retro5:21 pm 18 Apr 19

The tram windows will eventually be covered in advertising like they have done with the busses. This will compliment the visual pollution the ugly wirescape has created.

This also ensures that people on the streets cannot see inside the vehicles and discover they are usually devoid of paying passengers.

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