Gore road repairs after Christmas

TERRI RUSSELL
Last updated 05:00 15/11/2012

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Repairs to Gore's Main St have been pushed back after retailers said the disruptions would cause shoppers to go elsewhere for their Christmas shopping.

The setback comes after the works, initially scheduled for repair earlier this year, were postponed when a contractor working in Winton, but also scheduled to work in Gore, was delayed.

Works on the NZ Transport Agency-controlled Main St were again put on hold because of unfavourable weather during winter.

Gore District Council roading manager Murray Hasler said the night-repairs had been ready to start this week but were postponed until February.

The Eastern Southland Chamber of Commerce expressed retailers' concerns last week saying it would affect deliveries, extended trading hours and shoppers, he said.

"They represent a lot of businesses, a sizeable portion, enough to take their concerns seriously . . . it adds extra weight. With the economic situation, businesses need as little interruption with their business as possible."

The council knew the main street had been of concern for "some time" but people were likely to appreciate the need for the "minor delay" to avoid any inconvenience at the busiest time of year, Mr Hasler said.

Eastern Southland Chamber of Commerce chairman Doug Grant said he strongly suggested that the council held off the works until after Christmas. "Retail is extremely hard at the moment and we don't need anything in the way to make it harder in the weeks up to Christmas."

Donald Buckley Photographics owner operator Joanne Hall said she was pleased the suggestion to postpone the works had been accepted. "It would have been very difficult for us."

They would have inconvenienced customers and affected the level of accessibility to the shop, she said.

Even though the main street was in "desperate need of repair" it was good that the council had learned that works could drag out, like they had in Winton, she said.

Residents ranked roading as the town's highest priority in a recent Gore District Council survey.

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