Traffic lights are being installed at the intersection of Harbour Dr and Gordon St in Coffs Harbour's city centre.
Traffic lights are being installed at the intersection of Harbour Dr and Gordon St in Coffs Harbour's city centre. Trevor Veale

Roadworks leave CBD businesses hurting

PLEASE don't put heading into the town centre in the too-hard basket.

That's the message from business owners who still need your trade while the CBD roadworks are carried out.  

Many businesses are reporting decreased trade and believe customers are struggling to navigate the road closures or think doing so isn't worth the hassle.  

Owner of Swiss Chalet Cafe on Harbour Dr, Eddie Wright, said it was disappointing the Duke St extension through Pioneer Park wasn't open prior to work on the Harbour Dr/Gordon St intersection starting.

"When the roadworks first started, business was dead for the first two days," Mr Wright said.  

"People didn't even know how to get into our car park.  

"It's taken a little while but our customers are starting to know, but still there's certainly been a drop in trade."  

Mr Wright said the first two days of roadworks were the quietest trade has ever been, but word-of-mouth from regular customers was slowly building it back up.  

Manager of Bristol Paint and Decorator Centre on Harbour Dr, Peter Lagettie, said he believed misinformation from the council regarding the works had led to a lot of the confusion.  

"It is the single dumbest idea this council has had since they did nose-to-the- kerb parking," he said.  

"We've had a whole lot less customers passing the door but it's also contributed to a lot of angst.  

"Beyond the dip in retail sales, there's a level of stress from everyone who's coming into the store.  

"I would be really surprised if there's not some sort of class action by business owners to try and get their money back from the loss of income they're experiencing."  

Both Mr Wright and Mr Lagettie agreed the installation of traffic lights at the intersection would benefit pedestrians crossing Harbour Dr, but would likely do little if anything to ease traffic congestion.   

The council says the works will reduce flood levels in Harbour Dr and address forecasted growth in traffic and pedestrian numbers.  

The Duke St extension, which acts as a temporary CBD bypass during the Harbour Dr/Gordon St roadworks, opened to traffic yesterday afternoon.



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