The Corporation of London, which runs the 200-acre cemetery and crematorium, is considering to ban private cars, apart from those with disabled badges, at weekends and on bank holidays following a survey that highlighted several safety concerns. The Corporation’s spokesperson is quoted to have said the move was in response to safety concerns and added that a bus service will be provided for visitors when the ban came into force next March.
He also admitted that the move might not be popular with some but insisted public safety at the cemetery in Aldersbrook Road, Wanstead, was paramount: “It is only a matter of time before someone gets killed. It is that bad. We have to consider public safety over public convenience.”
Funerals and entourage will be allowed with cars during Saturday and Sunday mornings as will blue disabled badge holders.
But in the afternoon the cemetery will be completely car free, with two buses providing transport. Wheelchairs are available for visitors at the front gate, said Mr Hussein. From Monday until Friday cars will be admitted to the cemetery as normal.
Cars are already banned on Sunday afternoons, and the ban’s extension to the rest of the weekend will be enforced by the security officers already manning the entrance.
The ban is to be trialled for a year and can be extended into the week if successful.
A report by the Department of Human Services (VIC, AU) questions the long-term viability of the state’s nine crematoriums, which are owned and operated by public cemetery trusts and are on Crown land. According to the report Melbourne’s five crematoriums – Fawkner, Springvale, Lilydale, Dandenong South and Altona – were operating at 52 per cent of capacity. As a consequence the State Government of Victoria (AU) will not approve any proposals to expand crematory services.
The report said there was a significant oversupply of crematoriums, particularly in Melbourne, and that their profits might not be sustainable in the long term. As a consequenc the department will not endorse any further use of public funds for new crematoriums until a financial analysis of facilities has been made.
The secretary of the Cemeteries and Crematoria Association of Victoria, Philip Bachelor, said yesterday that Melbourne’s crematoriums could cope with demand.
Dr Bachelor, the manager of technical services at the Fawkner Crematorium and Memorial Park, said there was not enough work for Melbourne’s existing crematoriums due largely to a stable mortality rate.
Victoria has 561 public cemeteries that are administered by 526 cemetery trusts.
The trusts comprise volunteer members who are appointed by the governor-in-council after a recommendation by the health minister. Of the 526 trusts, 14 are required to report yearly to Parliament.
Each trust is responsible for the management of cemeteries under its control.