Foreshore businesses’ parking woe

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Pierra WillixSound Telegraph
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Railway Terrace.
Camera IconRailway Terrace. Credit: City of Rockingham.

Owners of businesses along the Rockingham foreshore have indicated their support for the revitalisation project, but say limited parking times are continuing to have a huge impact on their trade.

Earlier this year, the Sound Telegraph reported business owners were calling for parking bays that had been reduced from two hours down to 30 minutes to be reversed, with some businesses losing thousands of dollars of trade each week.

Works on the project were halted from mid-December to February 18, and although many businesses said they had seen good trade over this period, many customers had still voiced their frustrations over a lack of, and strict time limits on, parking near the foreshore.

Vat 116 and Latitude 32 owner Marc Kenly said the works had nearly “busted” Vat 116 before the summer period, but Latitude 32 was holding “fairly steady”.

However, he said parking was having the biggest impact on trade, rather than the project itself.

Mr Kenly said he had at least two tables a week, usually on a Saturday night, call up and cancel last-minute because people could not find a carpark. “That would translate to around a $30,000 loss over the year,” he said.

Jaffleato owner Ali Bale said the works along Railway Terrace and the foreshore were needed and she was appreciative of the workers who had done their best to try to minimise impact on business, but also pointed to parking as an ongoing issue.

“There’s a bit of noise and dust outside, but the issue seems to be the perception that there is not anywhere to park,” she said.

“There is not an issue with the redevelopment, but there is an issue with the car parks. If we are talking about wanting to attract more tourists to the area, where are they going to park?”

Urban Retreat Day Spa owner Carol Frieling said the works being halted over summer had made a huge difference to being able to attract customers, but said the noise and lack of parking had also contributed to a slow down since the works restarted.

“Customers tell us they drive around and around to get a spot that isn’t 30 minutes, but they mostly have to end up parking at the back of the Gary Holland Centre, but they have said this is too far away,” she said.

“Human nature is that, if it is inconvenient for them, they will just stop coming (to the business).”

City of Rockingham Deputy Mayor Deb Hamblin said the availability of additional parking on Railway Terrace had played a role in reducing the impact of works on businesses.

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