Footpaths on Coogee Bay Road have been widened and activated with more outdoor dining, real grass, a busker music program and festoon lighting as part of a NSW Government and Randwick Council program to support local businesses bounce back from COVID.

The Coogee Bay Road Shared Village project was officially opened today, Tuesday 10 November 2020 by Randwick Mayor Danny Said and State Member for Coogee Marjorie O’Neill.

The $150,000 project is proudly funded by a $100,000 grant from the NSW Government as part of the Streets as Shared Spaces program, and $50,000 from Randwick City Council.

As part of the temporary three-month activation program, traffic on Coogee Bay Road is now one-way heading west (uphill) with the space from the previous travel lane now used to provide more space for shoppers, pedestrians and diners on the busy street.

Parking has been retained on both sides of the road.

Randwick Mayor Danny Said and State Member for Coogee Dr Marjorie O'Neill officially launch the Coogee Bay Road Shared Village project.

Randwick Mayor Danny Said explains the activation is in direct response to requests from Coogee businesses.

“Earlier this year we were approached by some local businesses asking for help to provide more space outdoors for dining and social distancing. With the COVID restrictions on businesses, many have been struggling and operating under reduced numbers.

“Cafes and restaurants were amongst the hardest hit during the pandemic. Local employment is important to Council, especially during times like these. Changes to household incomes has far reaching social impacts, and we are committed to doing what we can to ensure not only the health, but the wellbeing of our community.

“The Coogee Bay Road Shared Village project provides more space for outdoor dining as well as additional space to help shoppers and pedestrians practice social distancing,” says Mayor Said.

Randwick Council consulted with local residents and businesses about the project in September 2020. A survey of 370 respondents found general support for supporting businesses and providing more space for outdoor dining. Overall 75% of respondents were in favour of the project.

A number of workshops were also held with local Coogee businesses to discuss the plans and generate ideas for helping local businesses bounce back from COVID.

The Coogee Bay Road Shared Village project is a temporary activation and will be in place until the end of January 2021 when it will be reviewed.

The 370, 374 and X74 bus services have been affected and re-routed away from the activation area.