Fears bypass could hurt local business
The Kojonup Shire council wants assurance a proposed heavy vehicle bypass around the town won’t hurt local businesses.
On September 18, the council voted unanimously to seek assurance from Main Roads WA that further community consultation would be held before it gives the green light to the proposed Kojonup Freight Route.
If approved the route would leave Albany Highway about 4km north of Kojonup, swing east around the town and return to the highway about 4km to the south.
It is intended to divert heavy traffic from the town centre, including livestock transporters and heavy vehicles carrying flammable or dangerous substances.
However, concerns have been raised about the impact the quicker route could have on businesses in town, with fears regular traffic would use the bypass to cut travel time.
“There is still significant concern in the community that the freight route would take business away from the town,” chief executive Rick Mitchell-Collins’ report said .
“There were many comments (from the public) about the need to have signage pointing to Albany and Katanning via Kojonup with some suggesting signposting the freight route for heavy haulage only.” However, quick thinkers are already eyeing possible ways to take advantage of the bypass.
Early suggestions include overhauling the main street by lowering the speed limit to 40km/h, installing solar-powered speed detectors and better signage in the area, along with improving parking and updating the pedestrian walkways.
The proposed detours around Kojonup with option 2 the preferred route.