A BIG chunk of Oxford Street around the Leederville town centre could be closed off on Friday nights.
Local precinct group Leederville Connect is pushing for a trial of the closure, arguing a more pedestrian-friendly strip will create a buzz and boost economic activity.
Leederville Connect says outside businesses or stalls won’t be bought in as they are for festivals, with only local businesses being allowed to spill out beyond the footpath.
Vincent mayor John Carey says the idea will go to consultation with businesses, but he’s behind the plan. He says “local government can be like an episode from Little Britain where computer says no”, but they want to give this one a shot.
“We’ve got to try new ideas, we have to consistently look at how we support vibrancy and reinvigorate our town centres.”
Fremantle council closed South Terrace in Fremantle over March and claimed it was a success, although some businesses complained their turnover was affected.
As Vincent’s proposal will mean no parking on Oxford Street during the closure, Mr Carey concedes some people will get antsy.
”If the businesses reject this, then it’s done, we won’t go ahead.”
by DAVID BELL