NORTHBRIDGE traders say they’ll lose business, and some may need to close or relocate, because of a proposed bus layover.
Paul Farinosi, who owns the Mitre 10 on James Street, isn’t happy 1200 buses are expected to use the road once a bus bridge and layover is built nearby.
Buses would use the bridge and layover, planned for a pocket just south of the Graham Farmer Freeway, to get to the $209 million busport being built just off Roe Street.
Mr Farinosi fears unprecedented congestion will block access to his 70-year-old store’s driveway.
“If that happens, I can kiss my business goodbye,” he says.
He is also cross because his customers face three more sets of traffic lights once James Street is closed to Mitchell Freeway traffic. The alternate freeway exit would be Roe Street.
At the very least he wants a “keep clear” section across the bus lane so customers can easily cross traffic to get to him. He’s given up hope on altering the plans themselves.
“If I was a bigger business, I’d be able to tell the government what to do,” he says. “But there’s not much a business like mine can do to stop these things from happening.”
On John Street, the landowner of the warehouse occupied by Vernon & Hanna Autobody Centre, has received a letter from WA Main Roads about a land acquisition.
Bruno Lehembre, manager at the nearby Rockface climbing centre, says there’ll be less parking in the area. He says the owners have just decided to turn the building next door into a yoga and fitness centre and are expecting more customers.
The $5.5 million required to purchase land at the site, just south of the Graham Farmer Freeway, was first mentioned in budget papers last month, surprising businesses and landowners.
WA transport minister Dean Nalder insists the layover was always part of the busport plans.
Andrew Gaspar, from Mr Nalder’s office, says businesses may be able to claim compensation.
“It is up to Mr Faranosi, and other businesses who believe they have a case to make for compensation, to put forward that case which would then be considered on its merits,” he says.
Labor MP Rita Saffioti says Mr Nalder hasn’t done his homework and accuses him of failing to consult affected parties.