Bob Miller is sick of drivers using his private property as a turning bay and (inset) a driver does a U-turn near the corner of Elbow St, crossing double white lines to access the Dan Murphy's carpark.
Bob Miller is sick of drivers using his private property as a turning bay and (inset) a driver does a U-turn near the corner of Elbow St, crossing double white lines to access the Dan Murphy's carpark. Bruce Thomas

Safety fears for motel patrons

FRUSTRATED and fearing for their patrons’ welfare, city centre moteliers Bob and Fran Miller are fed up with drivers using their business front as a U-turn bay.

The Town Lodge Motor Inn owners said that since the Dan Murphy’s liquor store had opened in May, people trying to access its back entrance via Elbow St had turned the motel’s parking lot into a potential accident zone.

Mrs Miller said motorists unable to enter Dan Murphy’s because of a low cement median strip – which was part of the store’s development application – had been driving straight into her parking lot and using it as a turning bay.

She estimates that on a Friday night and through the weekend 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 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 says when drivers are challenged, some become verbally abusive and make rude gestures.

The Millers 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 Millers’ property they are doing illegal U-turns and crossing double white lines to enter Dan Murphy’s from Elbow St.

Along with sending a complaint letter to the Coffs Harbour City Council when Dan Murphy’s first opened, Mrs Miller asked local MP Andrew Fraser to follow up her complaint.

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

“In response to concerns raised we are monitoring driver behaviour in this area,” the spokes-woman said.

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



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