Fight to keep heavy traffic off main street
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.