City News

The end of the Potts Point van camp

The Potts Point community is celebrating its victory over backpacker vans with new laws which kick them of Victoria St.

A community meeting on Monday opened with a round of applause for Lord Mayor Clover Moore on passing her Private Member’s Bill through the Legislative Assembly last week.

The new laws will make vehicle sales illegal on problem streets in the City of Sydney council area.

“This is a very happy occasion,” Ms Moore said.

The applause indicated that residents agreed and are hopeful that the new law, effective next month, will shift backpacker vans away from Victoria Street to an alternative area.

Council has resolved to open a new supervised car market to facilitate tourists wanting to sell their vans.

The market will commence next month and will be operating out of the King Cross car park costing the council $100,000 a year to run.

President of the Clean Up Victoria Street group Tim Peterson said,

“This is a remarkable example of community coming together and engaging in issues that are important to us.”

The City of Sydney is now focused on beautifying Victoria St and presented a six-stage provisional landscape plan during the meeting for community consideration.

The $1.4 million investment includes landscaping traffic islands, placing new garden beds outside King Cross station and planter boxes around existing trees along Victoria St.

The new plans will see a more pedestrian and bicycle friendly environment with one new raised pedestrian crossing to be placed outside of Kings Cross Station.

The council is also working towards introducing a new speed limit of 40km/hr.

One local said this move was a welcome change.

“The speed of some cars especially in the morning and in the evening are too fast and dangerous for pedestrians and for school kids.”

Residents were assured that no car spaces would be lost.

If approved, work is planned to commence early next year. Residents were encouraged to lodge their comments with the City of Sydney by November 7.

Victoria St, Potts Point, was Sydney’s first high-density suburb and today has 141 dwellings per hectare.

Classified as a heritage streetscape area, it spans approximately 700metres from Challis Avenue to Kings Cross Station and includes a rare mix of convenience stores, successful restaurants, hostel accommodation, drug care facilities and a Catholic girl’s school.

By Anastasia Mangafas