Fears by­pass could hurt lo­cal busi­ness

Great Southern Herald - - News - Toby Hussey

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.

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