Lygon St set for footpath revamp but traders want the whole strip completed

Lygon St set for footpath revamp but traders want the whole strip completed
Brendan Rees

A long-standing battle to have safer and more attractive footpaths along Carlton’s iconic Lygon St will see a portion of renewal works undertaken, but traders say they want certainty the whole street will be revamped.

The City of Melbourne confirmed that works would occur along the east side of Lygon St between Queensberry and Pelham streets, which would see asphalt footpaths converted to bluestone within the next financial year.

The announcement was made as part of the council’s draft budget 2024/45 in allocating $5 million on streetscape improvements across the municipality to “improve amenity and safety for pedestrians, customers, business owners and local residents”. 

The street, known for its vibrant dining scene and historic charm, has been plagued by deteriorating footpaths that traders say pose a safety risk to pedestrians and customers, as well as detracting from the overall appeal of the street, which was first highlighted in the Inner City News June 2023 edition’s front page story.

While shop owners have welcomed the upgrade which they said would make a significant improvement, they are still seeking definitive answers on when the entire length of Lygon St would be carried out.

“It’s great to see works being established in Carlton and we look forward to the continuation and completion of the entire length of Lygon St,” Carlton Inc. executive officer Phil Mansour said.

“They’re old and tired and an OHS hazard to the public particularly with the elderly.”

 But he also added, “We need more definitive timelines of when works are going to be committed for all of Lygon St – that’s probably our big point.”

DOC Espresso co-owner Vince Marchinno lamented the situation, saying “it is disappointing because this discussion has been going for 15 years”.


“It seems the area that gets most traffic for restaurants and yet people are having to sit out on footpaths that are on an angle,” he said. “It’s getting worse and come summer it’s unbearable.”


He also noticed that tree roots were growing through their venue, which he believed had caused some water pipes to crack underneath with moisture surfacing above.

Fab Succi, owner of Italian restaurant Tiamo, said the footpaths were “dangerous to walk on” and called for the council to do better.

He recently asked the council to inspect a tree at the front of his venue which was lifting the footpath around his outdoor dining area.

“Enough is enough. Stop wasting people’s time because you’re making a mockery out of people who voted you in,” he said.

“We’re paying the rates for the rest of the city and yet we’re the forgotten ones.”



Brunetti Classico owner Fabio Angele said his business made a big investment by converting the footpath to bluestone at the front of Lygon Court with permanent parklets with planters also installed.

The project was completed at Easter, with Mr Angele saying the business had “contributed substantially to the project”.

“It looks like one big piazza. Most of the locals have really appreciated it,” he said.

Mr Angele said he hoped to see the rest of Lygon St completed to “bring back Carlton the way it used it be”.

Carlton Inc president Sergio Alderuccio welcomed the upgrade, saying it would enhance the street.

“It’s well overdue and I sense people are coming back and we are providing a great ambience, but the footpaths really let us down,” he said. •

Like us on Facebook