INCLUDING YOU: Mayor Jane Smith and Central Coast Council staff relax in the new Including You tent, which will provide shade, time out and resources at various major council functions, such as here at its Lakes Festival launch, for the aged and disabled, their carers and family. It's all part of council's focus on increased accessibility for everyone.
INCLUDING YOU: Mayor Jane Smith and Central Coast Council staff relax in the new Including You tent, which will provide shade, time out and resources at various major council functions, such as here at its Lakes Festival launch, for the aged and disabled, their carers and family. It's all part of council's focus on increased accessibility for everyone.

Council focuses on accessibility with survey

SENIORS are urged to have their say on parking and public transport as part of a community-wide survey by Central Coast Council on how to handle that aspect of the region's growing population needs.

"We are undertaking this survey to better understand the challenges faced by different sections of our community," Mayor Jane Smith said.

"We want to better understand what parking and public transport connections our Seniors need.

"This is a unique opportunity to tell council where the issues are so we can make parking better for everyone."

Acting Director, Assets, Infrastructure and Business, Boris Bolgoff said the Central Coast was forecast to grow to over 415,000 people by 2036.

That meant painting a picture of how people move around the Central Coast, developing parking solutions and identifying how improved public transport could impact the community, potentially helping people to leave their cars at home, was vital.

Solutions needed to address the needs of residents and visitors of all ages and abilities, as well as businesses, both now and into the future.

"Are they seeking parking for longer periods whilst they are at work or conduct business, or are they seeking parking for shorter periods of time whilst they attend personal appointments, enjoy leisure activities or dine out?" Mr Bolgoff asked.

Identified "pinch points" for parking include town centres in Gosford, Wyong, The Entrance, Woy Woy and Terrigal and commuter parking at Gosford, Warnervale, Tuggerah, Wyong, Lisarow and Woy Woy, but the survey is not limited to these areas.

Commuters have increasingly complained about the lack of parking after about 6.45am weekdays, saying more free parking is needed urgently.

The Central Coast Regional Parking survey is open until Friday, December 7, go to yourvoiceourcoast.com/parking, with a draft strategy to be developed and go on public exhibition in 2019.

However, in the meantime, realising all-day parking supply is at capacity, and parking in general at "a critical point", council is moving ahead with short-term solutions with an eye towards revitalisation of Gosford city centre.

It has approved $1.4 million for design and construction of a short-term car park at 10 Racecourse Rd, West Gosford, and has also identified potential short-term solutions, including spare capacity at Baker St and Central Coast Leagues Club, and implementing a park and ride scheme from the CBD fringe.

At the same time, council has released a community report, Making the Coast and Council Inclusive and Accessible, which highlights the first year's progress in its Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP).

"Implementing a plan with strategies and actions that enable people with disabilities to participate in all aspects of community life creates a sense of belonging and inclusion, which is one of the key goals from our Community Strategic Plan," Mayor Smith said.

Actions implemented include 72 council-owned assets being access-audited, new beach wheelchairs, wheelchair-accessible picnic facilities, a draft Pedestrian and Access Mobility Plan and inclusive and accessible playgrounds.

To make some major council-hosted events more inclusive, council has also introduced an "Including You" accessibility tent, which debuted at the Lakes Festival on November 10.

The tent provides free sensory, vision, mobility and communication aids and supports, plus a "safe space" to retreat, promoting participation of people living with a disability, their families and carers, the elderly, parents with prams and others with limited mobility, in events.

It will also raise awareness around disability, access and inclusion.


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