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Where is Docklands?

29 Nov 2011

Where is Docklands? Image

Docklands businesses say the suburb needs to be known as Docklands North and Docklands South because visitors often cannot find what they are looking for.

They say signage simply directing visitors to “Docklands” is not specific enough and results in confusion, frustration and often anger as drivers enter Docklands via the wrong end and struggle through our congested minor roads.

Docklands Chamber of Commerce president Keith Rankin said visitors approaching Docklands via the Westgate Freeway needed to be advised that the best way to get to destinations in the north of the suburb was via CityLink.

“Getting off the freeway at Lorimer St and trying to navigate to Harbour Town, for instance, can be a nightmare at the wrong time of the day,” Mr Rankin said.

“But if drivers were directed to stay on the freeway and come around to Footscray Rd via City Link, they’d be there in a few
short minutes.”

Support for the Docklands North and South concept was unanimous amongst major stakeholders who met in July.  Minutes of the summit meeting show that Places Victoria (then VicUrban) committed to working with VicRoads to achieve the necessary change in freeway signage. 

The City of Melbourne also undertook to lobby VicRoads on the issue.

But Places Victoria’s Docklands general manager Simon Wilson told Docklands News that VicRoads had rejected the notion because it was policy bound not to direct motorists onto toll-roads when non-tolled alternatives existed.

VicRoads says this is not the case and it is happy to meet Docklands’ stakeholders to discuss the suburb’s requirements.

VicRoads’ north west metropolitan regional manager Nial Finegan said: “VicRoads’ policy on directional signage for freeways and arterial roads is to highlight key destinations, regardless of whether the route is tolled or not.”

“VicRoads will organise a meeting with relevant stakeholders to further discuss any concerns in relation to this issue,” Mr Finegan said.

Mr Finegan said VicRoads and CityLink had already modified freeway signage to point to “Docklands”, rather than merely “City” following extension consultation with Docklands stakeholders.

The current thinking among Docklands businesses is to drop references to precincts and, instead, highlight specific “assets” such as the Southern Star Observation Wheel and the stadium.

Docklands South would contain the precincts Yarra’s Edge, Batman’s Hill and Victoria Harbour.  Docklands North would be Digital Harbour, NewQuay and Waterfront City.

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Comments

  • Billie at 9:46pm on 29/11/11

    10 years on and it is still an issue .Why would vic roads care it doesnt cost them a cent to change it or not change it? Working at Harbour Town i am sick of being a tourist guide and trying to explain the difference between south Bank and Harbour Town..its stupid and by reading this no one really is taking responsability..but that is Docklands
  • Michel Verheem at 3:58pm on 30/11/11

    I appreciate that individual businesses would prefer their visitors to be guided to close to their business. Maybe even to the front door of their business. Thinking along those lines, we should not have directional information to a suburb, but to each specific street address.
  • Michel Verheem at 3:59pm on 30/11/11

    What I am trying to say is that perhaps it is not too realistic to have the expectation of a very detailed VicRoads directional signage system that satisfies everybody. Like any other suburb, the road signage gets you to the suburb, and you have to find your way from there.
  • Michel Verheem at 3:59pm on 30/11/11

    Instead, I suggest that part of the responsibility is with the business owners themselves. Harbour Town, as a commercial entity, has the responsibility to 'guide' their customers to their address. Maybe have instructions in their ads and on their billboards, maybe clear instructions on their website, maybe coach and facilitate their tenants to do the same.

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