FED UP: Bob Miller is sick of drivers using his private property as a turning bay.
FED UP: Bob Miller is sick of drivers using his private property as a turning bay. Bruce Thomas

Fed up with Murphy's motorists

FRUSTRATED and fearing for their patrons’ welfare, Bob and Fran Miller are fed up with drivers using their Coffs Harbour business frontage as a u-turn bay since Dan Murphy’s opened nearby.

The Town Lodge Motor Inn owners said since the liquor store opened in May, people trying to access its back entrance via Elbow St (northbound lane) who can’t because of a cement block – which was part of the store’s development application – instead drive into their parking lot and use it as a turning bay or thoroughfare to gain access to Dan Murphy’s via Elbow St (southbound lane).

Mrs Miller estimates that on a typical weekend, including Friday nights, up to 40 cars pass through their guest car park with a constant stream during the week.

“They speed through here on private property and because the rooms front onto the car park these drivers pose an unacceptable risk to our guests,” Mrs Miller said.

“I’m afraid that a child will get hit when a car flies in one side and out the other.

“When we have cars parked here there is very little room to attempt a u-turn and because they are doing it in between our guests’ cars, I’m worried someone will cause damage and we will be liable.”

She said when the drivers were challenged, some become verbally abusive and made rude gestures.

The Miller’s are so fed up they took down their “entrance” sign and replaced it with one that reads “Entrance: Strictly Guests Only”.

If drivers aren’t turning around on the Miller’s property they are doing illegal u-turns according to the couple, crossing double white lines to enter Dan Murphy’s from Elbow St.

“It’s only a matter of time before an accident happens on that blind corner caused by illegal and unsafe driving,” Mrs Miller said

Along with sending a complaint letter to the Coffs Harbour City Council when Dan Murphy’s first opened, she contacted Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser who said the council was following up her complaint.

A Coffs Harbour City Council spokesperson said a traffic study was under way.

“In response to concerns raised we are monitoring driver behaviour in this area,” a council spokesperson said.

“A traffic study is ongoing and involves videoing driver behaviour and doing a traffic count.”

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