Spats over kerb damage

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Margaret River man John Lawson is furious about damage to tyres suffered by himself and neighbours from the main street redesign.
Camera IconMargaret River man John Lawson is furious about damage to tyres suffered by himself and neighbours from the main street redesign. Credit: Warren Hately

Margaret River man John Lawson is so annoyed by the design of new kerbs widely ridiculed on social media he’s urging other motorists to send their invoices to the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River, just like he did.

The active 90-year-old believes the Shire owes him and his daughter $90 for damage allegedly sustained from the hard corners on the contentious new parking bays.

While his first effort has already been rebuffed, his neighbour blames the bays for a bill of more than $200, and Mr Lawson said he and others would persevere.

“The Shire cannot ignore damage this flawed design is causing to motorists’ vehicles,” he said.

“At the current rate indicated by (local) tyre firms, there could be several hundred cases such as my daughter’s by the end of the year.”

Mr Lawson said other had told him they had had difficulty with the kerbs or seen others struggling with them.

The bays have come up for repeated debate, despite Shire chiefs holding the line against any further work. At a meeting with main street businesses earlier this month, traders asked for more information about replacement bays for those lost during the redevelopment, and a call to ban vehicles parking with trailers was knocked back by Shire corporate and community services director James Shepherd.

“There will be people who drive over the kerb no matter,” he said.

Meeka House owner Jennifer Gherardi said her husband’s car had also copped damage from parking.

The Times and others on social media have observed many cases of bigger vehicles ignoring kerbs, as well as trailers led out across new garden beds.

Mr Shepherd told the Times bays were made 7m long for ease of access. “The kerbing is designed to direct as much water as possible into the underground stormwater network,” he said.

“There is, no doubt, a period of adjustment to the parking on the main street, but we are confident it will become second nature to residents and the community alike.”

Other design features included narrowing the road carriageway to slow traffic and discourage drivers overtaking while motorists parked.

The Shire will briefly close the main street again in coming weeks for maintenance as well as finishing touches on the streetscaping.

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