Fight to keep heavy traf­fic off main street

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

MEM­BERS of the Whit­sun­day Ratepay­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (WRA) made a deputation to Coun­cil at yes­ter­day’s meet­ing in Proser­pine, pre­sent­ing their con­cerns about heavy traf­fic on the Air­lie Beach main street.

Air­lie Beach res­i­dent Lester Ri­ley, who has been at the fore­front of the cam­paign to ban heavy goods ve­hi­cles and buses from the main street, said there were three is­sues at stake – am­bi­ence, pas­sen­ger ser­vices and con­cerns about the taxi rank. He said heavy ve­hi­cles and buses cur­rently passed within very close prox­im­ity to people seated at restaurants and bars on both the Air­lie Es­planade and main street.

“The noise and size of these ve­hi­cles in­ter­feres with con­ver­sa­tion and the en­joy­ment of al fresco din­ing,” he said.

Mr Ri­ley said the gen­eral be­lief was that by mov­ing the bus stops to both ends of Air­lie Beach – one in each di­rec­tion at the start of Water­son Way and the oth­ers at Man­grove Jacks, the street would be bet­ter catered for.

Fur­ther­more, he sug­gested it was log­i­cal to re­turn the taxi rank to its orig­i­nal lo­ca­tion op­po­site Mag­nums, a move he be­lieved would be sup­ported by the lo­cal po­lice.

Af­ter the meet­ing, mayor Jennifer Whit­ney said Coun­cil had been work­ing with Mackay/Whit­sun­day Taxis, Whit­sun­day Tran­sit and the Depart­ment of Tran- sport and Main Roads to try to re­solve the is­sues at hand.

“It’s some­thing that’s been on the radar for about 18 months and it’s get­ting close to a con­clu­sion,” she said.

“I cer­tainly be­lieve we should be restrict­ing ac­cess to heavy ve­hi­cles that sim­ply don’t fit.”

Cr Whit­ney said she ex­pected the is­sue to make the agenda for the next Coun­cil meet­ing in Bowen on March 26.

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