THE route for the 2014 Bendigo Easter Festival’s Gala Parade and Torchlight Processions has changed.
The new route will start in View Street (at Rowan Street), turn left into Pall Mall, left into Chapel Street before finishing in Bridge Street.
BEF Advisory Board chairman Councillor Rod Fyffe said the new route will solve a number of logistical and OH&S issues associated with the previous route which ran from Lyttleton Terrace, along Queen and Mitchell Streets before turning into Pall Mall.
“The new route solves these issues because it has fewer corners which minimises the OH&S risks by making it easier and safer for parade entrants,” he said.
“It will also allow us to better manage logistics, streetscapes, road closures, traffic and pedestrian movements during the festival period.
“It will reduce the number of road closures needed for the parades and maximise access to the CBD for emergency services. In addition it also provides more parking options for patrons close to the festival activities and causes less changes to bus services.
“The new route also makes it easier for the public to view the fireworks display over Rosalind Park without having to relocate from their position on the torchlight parade route.
“Both View Street and Pall Mall are Bendigo’s premier heritage and cultural precincts and the changes will allow local traders within this precinct to extend their opening hours and take advantage of the large crowds attending the parades.”
He said the decision to change the parade route was made following extensive discussions with emergency service agencies and BEF stakeholders.
Letters were sent to all View Street businesses and the community was also invited to comment.
“We received a very low number of responses to the proposed change and we believe that the concerns about road closures raised by a few respondents can be resolved by working closely with View Street traders,” he said.
“Following the consultation period and the low number of responses we received, we are now happy to put this change into place and will evaluate its success at the end of this year’s festival.”