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Footpaths and nature strips

Footpaths

Loddon Shire Council is responsible for new footpaths and the maintenance of existing footpaths within the Shire.

Requests for new footpaths are scoped by Council staff, prioritised and placed on a rolling program of works. The rolling program is used each year to develop the list of works that will receive a budget in the following financial year.

Footpaths are provided to the community to facilitate a safe, convenient and defined means for pedestrian movement and to link public spaces.

Footpath hierarchy

A hierarchy for the development and maintenance of footpath assets within Loddon Shire is incorporated within the Road Management Plan.

The footpath hierarchy allows us to provide the appropriate level of maintenance and repair, based on the requirements of the Road Management Plan and available funds for this type of work

The footpath hierarchy for town streets is given below

Hierarchy code Hierarchy Function

BF

Business area footpath Moderate use fully constructed footpaths in shopping areas and near schools and other pedestrian traffic generators

SF

Strategic footpath Moderate use footpath which may be gravel or fully constructed. Includes footpaths to specific locations, and may include walking tracks.

RF

Residential area footpath Lower use fully constructed footpaths or part constructed gravel footpaths in residential areas.

IF

Informal footway Un-constructed footways with varying use.

Construction materials for footpaths within the Shire include crushed rock, gravel, asphalt, pavers and concrete. 

Inspections and maintenance

Footpaths within our municipality are regularly inspected and maintained in accordance with the Road Management Plan.

Maintenance issues Council take care of include:

  • potholes
  • rough surfaces
  • lifted or broken slabs
  • dislodged or loose bricks and pavers
  • weeds growing through the footpath
  • raised wooden edging

Please note: Public authorities carrying out work around footpaths are responsible for the appropriate restoration works required as a result of their works. The exception is emergency works, i.e. water main breaks, in which case, the authority advises Council of the works, Council will make the repairs and invoice the authority for the cost of the repair.

Reporting footpath damage

When you report footpath damage, you will need to tell Council:

  • the exact location and nature of the nature of the damage
  • anything else you feel is important regarding this matter
  • your name
  • your contact details

To report damage to a footpath, please go to Report an issue, or contact Council on (03) 5494 1200

Process for footpath repairs

When Council receives information about a problem with a footpath:

  • Council will send someone to inspect the footpath
  • Council will then prioritise repair works as necessary in line with the appropriate Asset Management Plan.

In some instances, temporary repairs may be undertaken, to ensure safety or as an interim measure until resources or budget allocations allow for a full repair.

Nature strips

Nature strips are the piece of land situated between the edge of a road and the property boundary.

Nature strips form part of the road reserve and are under Loddon Shire Council management. They provide:

  • a safe area for pedestrians and may include footpaths
  • a space for authorities to house their infrastructure such as electricity, water mains, sewerage lines, phone lines and pits, etc.
  • may contain trees for shade and beautification of your street.

Nature strip encroachments

When undertaking landscaping of the front yard, residents need to be aware of where the property boundary is located.

Residents extending their garden beds beyond the property boundary cause issues for the establishment of footpaths and can create a hazard for pedestrians. 

Avoiding hazards

As the nature strip is public land, Council must be vigilant when it comes to recognising when a threat to public safety exists.

Any feature that is deemed by Council to be a risk to the public as a tripping hazard in a nature strip, a falling hazard, a vehicle crash hazard or other hazard will be required to be removed from the nature strip.

In addition, property owners may be held liable for injury caused as a result of any unauthorised landscaping works undertaken by them, or on their behalf. 

To report a hazard on a nature strip, please go to Report an issue, or contact Council on (03) 5494 1200

Service authority works

From time to time service authorities need to dig up the nature strip to work on their infrastructure.

When this occurs, they are required to replace damaged footpaths and driveways and re-level the nature strip with loam and grass seed.

Weeds

Many common garden plants are really environmental weeds. Where these plants are listed on the State Government declared weeds lists, Council will not permit their use in the nature strip.

Plants on this list include: Agapanthus, St John's Wort, Fountain grass and English ivy. Full lists are available from the Department of Environment and Primary Industries.

Existing plants designated as weeds will be managed on a case by case basis in accordance with Department of Environment and Primary Industries advice.

Nature strips with no footpaths

Where no footpath exists, the nature strip needs to allow for pedestrian movement. To enable this, only gravels can be used as an alternative to grass.

Future footpaths are generally installed within a 1.8m passage along the property boundary

Nature strips - will you maintain my nature strip?

No, Council will not maintain nature strips on a regular basis.

On direction from our Fire Prevention Officer, Council will remove fire hazards.

If a significant safety issue is identified within a nature strip, e.g. subsidence, deep scouring, Council may elect to undertake the necessary repairs. If however the hazard is associated with or as direct result of action or activity of the adjacent landowner, a notice to remedy the issue may be provided and it is expected that the landowner will undertake the necessary works to address the issue at their cost.

In certain locations, Council may elect to undertake minor maintenance and mowing of township nature strips. This work is undertaken at Council's discretion and is primarily focused at ensuring that the amenity and presentation of our township entrances promotes Loddon as a nice place to live and visit.
 

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