Clearway plan angers retailers

Council proposes one hour clearway

ELTON SMALLMAN
Last updated 17:17 12/10/2012
Unhappy business owners
Chris Hillock/Fairfax NZ

NOT HAPPY: Business owners are angered at plans to remove car parks outside their businesses on Victoria Street, Hamilton. L To R: Sean Nelson (Grillers), Alex McPherson (Gallery Artisans), Henry Jacobs (Primo Vino).

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Retailers at the North-end of Hamilton's Victoria St are angry with a council plan to put a clearway right outside their shops, saying it'll drastically affect business.

Hamilton City Council is proposing to change the layout for north bound traffic on Victoria St and will create a one hour clearway in the parking bays from Princes St to Liverpool St during the afternoon peak-hour.

Wine retailer Henry Jacobs has been in business on Victoria St for 15 years and said he had no idea about the proposals until a neighbouring property owner informed him.

''He came running in with the letter ...  the council has given all the businesses at this end of town notification that they are going to put a clearway at this end of town between 4.30 and 5.30 during the week,'' Mr Jacobs said.

The letter was dated 21 September but Mr Jacobs said it arrived in the post this week.

Feedback was due yesterday, which put pressure on business owners to make their voice heard.

Alex McPherson, who owns Gallery Artisans, was concerned about the future of her business.

''Taking away the carparks at our busiest trading times would be very detrimental to our business,'' she said.

''We have only been going eight months and we chose this end of town precisely because there were more car parks down here.''

City transport manager Phil Consedine said letters were sent to residents and businesses in the first week of October as part of a wider mail-out.

He said there seemed to have been a hold up with delivery so council would welcome feedback from affected parties in the area throughout this coming week.

''We're keen to hear what businesses and residents in these areas have to say, and we're happy to work with them to find solutions that suit road users, businesses and residents,'' Mr Consedine said.

Changes were still in the proposal stage and no decisions had been made, but the focus was on safer travel for cyclists, pedestrians and improving access to public transport.

''At the moment we are seeking the feedback of residents and businesses in the area, so we can better understand the impact of our proposed changes.''

Elton Smallman is a Wintec journalism student.


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