REMOVING the parking area next to the former hospital site in Sale Street would restore the street’s status as one of Orange’s most important roads but the nearby traffic lights at Prince Street should remain, according to traffic committee chair Russell Turner.
Renewed interest has been shown in the site since ideas to revisit the closure of the Franklin Road and Peisley Street intersection were floated by Cr Reg Kidd last week.
Resident Carl Sharpe suggested the traffic committee should turn its attention to the Sale Street traffic chicanes and Cr Kidd agreed.
Cr Turner said the parking area was no longer needed now the hospital had been relocated but suggested the traffic lights at Anson and Prince streets were still essential to cope with traffic from the north.
“Unless there is a compelling reason that [Sale Street] should be left as is, it should be opened back up,” he said.
“It was put in there for a particular reason and that reason has now gone.”
Council spokesman Nick Redmond said the council would wait and see what sort of development would be earmarked for the former hospital site before the traffic chicanes would be removed.
Cr Turner said he could not imagine any development that would need the parking area retained.
“A development would have to provide off street parking,” he said.
“Any new development would be subject to a new development application.”
Cr Turner said the council may see it as a cheaper option to leave the traffic deterrents in place, but the general public wanted the street restored.
“I often see people negotiating it warily,” he said.
“There’s a lot more traffic there at the moment because the Dalton Street and Hill Street intersection is closed.”