Traders ride out beach works pain

Southern Telegraph - - News - Pierra Wil­lix

Businesses along Rock­ing­ham fore­shore have re­ported a drop in trade since the start of the Beach Fore­shore Re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion project a month ago, but say the project is a ne­ces­sity that will pro­vide longterm ben­e­fits to the area.

The Tele­graph spoke to busi­ness own­ers around af­fected roads — Rail­way Ter­race and Har­ri­son Street — and while all said they had seen a drop in busi­ness, they were con­fi­dent the project would be ben­e­fi­cial once com­plete.

Surf Ma­nia owner Bill Spence said the works had af­fected his busi­ness, point­ing to limited park­ing op­tions and the block­ing off of cer­tain ar­eas as ma­jor con­trib­u­tors to the lack of foot traf­fic.

“We are feel­ing the ef­fects with­out a doubt,” he said.

Mr Spence said he was sup­port­ive of the over­all project, which he said was “nec­es­sary”, and that, in the long term, would cre­ate great ben­e­fits for businesses.

How­ever, he said it could have been un­der­taken at a bet­ter time, rather than go­ing into sum­mer.

Fore­shore Fish and Chips owner Mark Sch­nei­der said al­though the works were “noisy and dis­rup­tive at present”, the thing keep­ing peo­ple away from the beach and shops was the on­go­ing wet weather.

Mr Sch­nei­der said he was look­ing for­ward to the project’s com­ple­tion, which he said was “sure to make Rock­ing­ham one of the most at­trac­tive beaches in the met­ro­pol­i­tan area and draw thou­sands each sum­mer”.

City of Rock­ing­ham Mayor Barry Sam­mels said the City had been ad­vised by busi­ness own­ers that they were ex­pe­ri­enc­ing vari­able trad­ing con­di­tions, but that proac­tive steps were be­ing taken to en­cour­age vis­i­ta­tion to the fore­shore.

Th­ese in­cluded main­tain­ing pedes­trian ac­cess through­out the project and in­stalling sig­nage to di­rect pedes­tri­ans to all the businesses around the works area.

Mr Sam­mels said that to sup­port businesses dur­ing the busy sum­mer pe­riod, all con­struc­tion on the fore­shore would stop from De­cem­ber 7 un­til Fe­bru­ary 18.

Rock­ing­ham Kwinana Cham­ber of Com­merce chief ex­ec­u­tive Tony Solin said the cham­ber was help­ing to pre­pare a pro­mo­tional strat­egy to as­sist af­fected businesses.

The Rock­ing­ham Beach Fore­shore Re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion has af­fected roads, in­clud­ing Rail­way Ter­race and Har­ri­son Street.

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