Victoria Street shop owners say they will lose all front-of-shop parking if the state government builds an intersection upgrade on the Newell Highway.
The shop owners and their landlords Kath and Terry Skinner are furious after Roads and Maritime Services representatives told them they would lose shopfront parking due to the construction of traffic lights at the Victoria Street and Newell Highway roundabout.
“The RMS told us they need to merge the traffic off the bridge and also coming off the Newell Highway and they have told us it is most likely we will lose all of the car-parking that is in front of the Victoria Street shops,” Kath Skinner said.
“These shops are currently zoned neighbourhood shopping which means people can park outside do their shopping and then go without having to go to a major shopping centre.
“The RMS say they need the space currently taken by the car-parking to merge the traffic coming off the bridge.”
Shop owners say this plan will have a devastating impact on their businesses
“If the RMS go through with this plan they will destroy my business,” Ace Picture framing owner Greg Freeman said.
A Roads and Maritime Services spokesperson acknowledged RMS representatives had met with shop owners but said no decision had been made about parking on Victoria Street.
“Roads and Maritime will continue to work closely with business owners to achieve the best possible outcome for them,” the spokesperson said.
“Road safety, freight access, traffic efficiency are also key considerations in the design of the intersection upgrade.
“The $20 million proposed upgrade on the Mitchell and Newell highways intersection at Dubbo will provide wider lanes to improve safety for road users.”
But Mr Freeman said the RMS representatives that met him spoke as if a plan was already in place.
“They’ve scared the hell out of the shop owners on this strip with what they told us,” he said.
“I was a small home business until I moved here and now I am a 100 per cent successful business, a lot of that comes down to the location.
“If I have no parking at the front of my shop it won’t even be worth opening my doors; I could relocate, but at a great financial cost.
“The other thing that has not been thought of is garbage trucks and deliveries; where are the garbage trucks going to stop to collect the rubbish and where would delivery drivers stop to deliver all our stock?”