Car bays discontent ongoing

Augusta Margaret River Times
Margaret River's main street
PIC : Derek Pool
Camera IconMargaret River's main street PIC : Derek Pool

Major main street traders are still fuming about the planned removal of car bays on Margaret River’s main street and believe the Shire must disclose whether the “new” bays planned for the CBD are extra bays or formalisation of existing options.

Traders, including Settlers Holdings director Rachel House, told the Times the street’s biggest operators felt sidelined by the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River and councillors had also failed to take up their requests.

“I am intensely disappointed at last week’s electors’ and subsequent Shire meeting at which concerns of main street traders and landowners were wholeheartedly disregarded by our Shire councillors,” Ms House said.

“The removal of 36 parking bays from the main street is no small matter and will have far-reaching effects for traders and the community. It is completely insulting to suggest that car parking bays in side streets such as Higgins, LeSeouf, Fearn and Townview Terrace have the same convenience and commercial value as parking on the main street.”

Shire chief executive Stephanie Addison-Brown said bays were removed to add trees, increase bay sizes, and allow safer pedestrian crossing — and would result in an extra two bays overall “within a 30-second walk” of the CBD.

But Meeka House owner Jennifer Gherardi questioned whether the final numbers were accurate.

“The 38 (extra) bays being installed also constitutes many bays already existing in other areas and streets, but now to be painted with lines,” she said. “A smaller number will be new, but there is no sched-ule or undertaking on their completion.”

Shire infrastructure director Markus Botte said details were available at mainstreetmakeover.com.au.

Despite flak about the project still unfolding so close to the start date, Dr Botte said concept plans were still “being developed for new general public bays within the CBD”.

“These plans will become available in the near future, including a program for implementation, once endorsed by council,” he said.

Ex-councillor and architect Linton Hodsdon said a meeting this week “saved” two more bays after Newsxpress owner Leonie Holtfreter said the business had no rear access and relied on three bays at the front.

“Ultimately, the community is delivering more solutions than Shire admin staff,” Mr Hodsdon said.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails