10 March 2023

Upgrades to group centres in Weston and Kippax a step closer

| Ian Bushnell
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Chris Steel and WCCC's Bill Gemmell

Transport and City Services Minister Chris Steel and WCCC’s Bill Gemmell discussing in 2021 what was needed to make Brierly Street in Weston more appealing and safer. Photo: Ian Bushnell.

Upgrades to group centres at Weston and Kippax are a step closer after the release of construction tenders, with work expected to start in May.

Feedback from consultation on the Brierly Street project at Weston showed a desire for better seating, wider verges, lighting and more greenery.

Respondents wanted improved pedestrian safety through wider verges, lower speed limits and safer crossing locations, and more opportunities for outdoor dining, including paving improvements.

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Concerns were also raised about the lack of lighting, particularly at the pedestrian crossing on Brierly Street, and more play areas for children would be welcomed, with respondents commenting that the lack of use of Trenerry Square could be partly attributed to the playground being on the opposite side of Cooleman Court.

Weston Creek Community Council chair Bill Gemmell said in 2021 when the consultation was launched in July, that the key thoroughfare had too many conflict points – particularly near McDonald’s, and this had caused a number of near misses and collisions. He said it needed to be calmed down, including having more pedestrian crossings.

The work listed in the tender includes wider verges, allowing space for outdoor cafes and public outdoor furniture, and an enhanced streetscape with new plantings and landscaping.

There will also be increased amenity, including new seating, bike racks and rubbish bins, as well as new pedestrian crossings and better lighting to enhance safety.

“Brierly Street is a flourishing cafe and restaurant strip and these upgrades will provide more inviting spaces for the community and businesses to enjoy,” Transport and City Services Minister Chris Steel said.

At Kippax, a preliminary design for improvements along Hardwick Crescent was developed in response to the Kippax Group Centre Master Plan 2019 and after extensive site investigations and engagement with local businesses and community groups.

Shoppers will see improvements along the section of Hardwick Crescent between Luke Street and the service station.

The work will deliver a wider and improved shopfront pavement, allowing space for outdoor cafes and public outdoor furniture.

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There should be greater accessibility along shopfronts and a more appealing streetscape with new plantings and landscaping.

Like Weston, there will be new bike racks and rubbish bins, and new pedestrian crossings and lighting improvements,

There will also be direct pedestrian links between the currently separated commercial centres on either side of the large car parks.

Mr Steel said the works were part of the government’s program for upgrades to suburban infrastructure across Canberra and follow recently completed shop upgrades at Kaleen, with significant improvements soon to be completed at Duffy and Campbell local shops.

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