Newcastle Council vote to trial outdoor dining and slower traffic on Darby Street

Newcastle Council has voted to trial more outdoor dining and slower traffic on Darby Street at Cooks Hill for six months.

The community gave positive feedback to Council to extend the outdoor dining and improve pedestrian and cyclist safety within the “eat street:” precinct by installing a temporary outdoor dining area, a relocatable “mini deck” outdoor dining, and traffic calming measures designed to reduce motorist speed and improve safety for everyone.

The raised dining area will be temporarily installed in the parking lane outside the most concentrated strip of eateries (between Sanctum and Goldbergs cafés), freeing up the footpath for pedestrians while more than doubling the current outdoor dining space in this area. 

The “mini deck” will provide an additional mobile recreational and outdoor dining space that can be relocated for use by interested businesses, while new seating in the Darby Headphones Courtyard will provide additional options for people to sit and socialise. 

New paving, lighting and public art including murals will also inject new life into the Headphones Courtyard, with work in this area planned to commence next week. Proposed traffic calming measures including a raised pedestrian crossing will be presented to Council for consideration at Tuesday’s Council meeting. 

To assist with increasing the available short term free parking in the area, for the duration of the trial 18 spaces in the Queen Street car park to the rear of the library will be converted to 2P free spaces. 

The trial has been made possible with funding from the City of Newcastle Urban Centres Revitalisation Program and a $500,000 grant from the NSW Government through the Streets as Shared Spaces program.

The trial will start in October.

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