Agencies give red light to road plan

Parramatta councillors resolved to close one of the city's busiest streets to traffic before talking to police or transport companies.

Police and bus companies were informed about the plan to close Church Street on weekends in December and January two days after councillors had voted to do so.

The council has since backed down from the plans as agencies refused to give their consent due to the short notice.

Lord Mayor John Chedid introduced the proposal in a mayoral minute on November 25 and it was resolved the street would be closed on Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays from December 20 to January 27.

Two days later the proposal was sent to Parramatta police and CDC Buses.

Superintendent Robert Redfern said he would not give consent and had not been informed about the plans despite meeting with council staff a week earlier.

He wrote that the proposal significantly altered the risk for policing throughout their busiest period which includes New Year's Eve, Australia Day, Sydney Festival and A-League matches.

"It would be appreciated, from a policing perspective, if there was manifest a greater desire of council to work with police. I can only assume that given the scope of this event, it is not a last minute plan," the letter, published in council documents, said.

Transport NSW service planner Adrian Dessanti also wrote to the council saying the body did not support the closure as it didn't have time to provide alternative travel advice to passengers.

"Both TNSW and the bus operators have not had sufficient notification of this planned closure, which will have significant impacts on bus operations and customer access to bus services," he said.

Road Maritime Services said the lead time for agency approvals for this type of road closure was a minimum of three months.

The Sun emailed four questions to Mr Chedid, including asking why agencies had not been informed prior to his mayoral minute.

Division of Local Government guidelines say mayoral minutes should not introduce matters that need research or consideration.

The four questions were not answered.

A council spokeswoman said: "Council will continue to work closely with the relevant authorities to plan for special events and to ensure the safety and well-being of patrons is always maintained".

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