Buses bring life back to Air­lie Cres­cent

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

AIR­LIE Cres­cent is open for busi­ness. This is the mes­sage to Whit­sun­day res­i­dents, vis­i­tors to the re­gion and lo­cal tour op­er­a­tors from busi­ness own­ers on the street.

Co-owner of the hol­i­day apart­ments at Water­view Air­lie Beach, Bill Kel­laris, said it was al­most a year ago that the road was closed af­ter res­i­dents and busi­ness own­ers lost a long-run­ning bat­tle with Coun­cil to stop the street from be­com­ing a cul-de-sac as part of the over­all Air­lie main street re­de­vel­op­ment plan.

“8am, July 24, 2012 – that’s when they dropped the ‘road closed’ sign on Air­lie Cres­cent,” Mr Kel­laris said.

In the 12 months that fol­lowed, Mr Kel­laris said the road clo­sure al­most brought his busi­ness to its knees.

“We shut for five months and we had to let go of two staff,” he said.

Water­view re-opened on May 3 and on Fri­day, July 5, the first Whit­sun­day Tran­sit bus in a year, pulled up out­side its doors.

“When we saw the bus, we just freaked. I said ‘hal­lelu­jah’,” Mr Kel­laris said.

Whit­sun­day Tran­sit driver Peter Lau­rence said he was thrilled to be able to “bring the lifeblood back to Air­lie Cres­cent” af­ter a long and dif­fi­cult pe­riod for the ac­com­mo­da­tion houses and their guests. Whit­sun­day Tran­sit owner, Dar­ren Cross­ley, said he too was de­lighted that the street was open to buses once again.

“And I do be­lieve that when the whole pro­ject’s fin­ished we should have a fan­tas­tic bit of in­fra­struc­ture for Air­lie Beach,” he said.

Mr Kel­laris said while the up­grade and clo­sure of Air­lie Cres­cent had been a bit­ter pill to swal­low, there were two things he was thank­ful for. “I want to say that I’m pleased that the Coun­cil lis­tened to the con­cept of putting in a look­out be­cause it’s a ter­rific van­tage point and se­condly that com­mon sense pre­vailed and we didn’t plant over­sized trees to take away the views,” he said.

NEW BE­GIN­NINGS: Whit­sun­day Tran­sit bus driver Peter Lau­rence (left) and com­pany owner Dar­ren Cross­ley (right) with Water­view Air­lie Beach co-owner Bill Kel­laris, cel­e­brat­ing the re­turn of buses to Air­lie Cres­cent af­ter al­most one year of road clo­sure for up­grade works. Pic­tured is Whit­sun­day Tran­sit's brand new bus - the 40th for the fleet, which ar­rived in the Whit­sun­days from Bris­bane on Tues­day af­ter­noon.

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