DOWN­SIDE TO ROKEBY MAR­KETS

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By ROSANNA CAN­DLER

ROKEBY Road busi­ness own­ers say the two-day road clo­sure, pedes­trian bar­ri­cades, turn-away signs and empty tents left overnight from Mar­kets on Rokeby has dam­aged nighttime trade.

The Western Sub­urbs Weekly spoke with sev­eral busi­ness own­ers – who did not want to be named – who said Venn Property Group (VPG) and the City of Su­bi­aco needed to ur­gently re­view the lay­out, traf­fic man­age­ment and op­er­a­tion hours of the mar­ket.

Launched on Novem­ber 7, Mar­kets on Rokeby runs ev­ery week­end from 9am-4pm.

Busi­ness own­ers said cus­tomers as­sumed shops and restau­rants were closed when Rokeby Road was closed to traf­fic be­tween Hay Street and Bagot Road from 5.30am Satur­day to 6.30pm Sun­day.

Two restau­rant own­ers said din­ers were frus­trated that they could not park out­side or catch a taxi di­rectly to and from their des­ti­na­tion.

Su­bi­aco Vil­lage As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man David Maxwell said re­tail­ers were seek­ing to dis­cuss “a num­ber of is­sues” with the City and VPG as soon as pos­si­ble.

“There are im­prove­ments that could be made,” Mr Maxwell said. “We want the mar­kets to be a suc­cess for all re­tail­ers and the com­mu­nity, and we don’t see that as nec­es­sar­ily where we are at the mo­ment.”

Su­bi­aco chief ex­ec­u­tive Don Bur­nett said the City would con­tinue to “fine tune” ar­range­ments with VPG and the lo­cal busi­ness com­mu­nity.

“We are look­ing at a num­ber of op­tions for cre­at­ing more vi­tal­ity in Rokeby Road on Satur­day nights, such as light­ing and pro­jec­tions on the mar­quees, which pro­vide a blank can­vas for this kind of at­trac­tion,” Mr Bur­nett said.

“We’ll be discussing th­ese op­tions with Venn Property Group with a view to tri­alling the ini­tia­tives as soon as pos­si­ble.

“The City is in con­ver­sa­tion with those busi­nesses af­fected by the week­end road clo­sure, par­tic­u­larly those busi­nesses trad­ing on Satur­day evenings.”

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