Traffic and parking congestion will continue to plague Keiraville and Gwynneville residents in the near future, after Wollongong City Council withheld funding for a crucial traffic study.
Community representatives have expressed surprise and disappointment after council revealed on Monday night it would not allocate funds for a traffic movement and access study in next year’s budget.
The knock-back comes after Keiraville and Gwynneville residents submitted a wish-list to the council in March, under its new community-led approach to suburban planning.
‘‘We are disappointed that council has not adopted the study for the next financial year ... we see it as virtually the most crucial outcome of the community planning process that we’ve gone through,’’ chair of the Keiraville and Gwynneville Community Group (KeG) Felix Bronneberg said.
Hundreds of residents took part in workshops and surveys during a 12-month period to come up with a vision they hope will be used when making development decisions in the future.
Though council endorsed a community vision statement that called for better management of traffic congestion in the area, other studies had priority for funding under council’s draft budget.
‘‘Council has to fund (more than 50) studies, plans and strategies and just as importantly ensure it has funding to implement the recommendations from these studies,’’ a council spokesman said.
Council resolved to prepare an ‘‘implementation plan’’ for the Keiraville-Gwynneville precinct, which would likely identify the need for an access and movement study, the associated costs and desired timeframe, the spokesman said.
Keiraville resident Bess Moylan said she was surprised council had not taken a more proactive approach to addressing traffic and congestion concerns in the area.
Ms Moylan said it made sense for council to act sooner rather than later in light of the hospital expansion and a proposal by the University of Wollongong to boost student accommodation on campus by 1100 beds by 2020.
‘‘We’ve taken the front foot and said to council we know [traffic congestion and safety] is an issue, we know more development of the area is ahead, we would like to see that [council] has planned for this,’’ she said.
‘‘Whereas now it looks like, again, the community will be relegated to complaining about or objecting to applications ... when we’re actually quite supportive of the university and development in the area.’’
The council-endorsed planning vision for the precinct also focuses on valuing the university and creating a connected community with viable shopping centres, while maintaining a village atmosphere.