CITY of Greater Bendigo councillor Rod Fyffe is confident the Bendigo community will embrace the new route for the 2014 Bendigo Easter Festival’s Gala Parade and Torchlight Processions.
The parade will now start in View Street, turn left into Pall Mall, left into Chapel Street before finishing in Bridge Street.
Cr Fyffe is chair of the Bendigo Easter Festival advisory board and said the new route would solve logistical and Occupational Health and Safety issues associated with the previous route which ran from Lyttleton Terrace, along Queen and Mitchell Streets before turning into Pall Mall.
"We never do anything lightly with the Easter Festival because it is such an iconic event for Bendigo," he said.
"But there are times when you have to respond to things like Occupational Health and Safety and emergency vehicle access.
"As a consequence we've changed the route and I think people will embrace it.
"I'm quite confident people will embrace it because View Street is a very, very attractive street to come down.
"It's a little bit wider for floats and I think most people really do acknowledge that it's the quality of the parade that's the main thing, the most important thing."
Cr Fyffe said the new route would also make it easier for people to watch 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 after extensive discussions with emergency service agencies and Bendigo Easter Festival stakeholders.
“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," Cr Fyffe said.