Businesses “court” up in construction woes

By Alex Gretgrix

BUSINESSES in Annesley Street are feeling the pinch as lack of foot traffic dwindles due to nearby roadworks.

Many stores in the area are losing business and customers as traffic is not making it through and pedestrians aren't making the trip past their doors.

“According to Northern Constructions Group and the letter the Council sent out, they are undertaking a road, drainage and footpath upgrade on the intersection of Annesley and Anstruther Street,” Autobarn manager Matt Newton said.

“These works have pretty much just knocked out our foot traffic quite dramatically because everyone is being diverted around either side of us and the street has become a court, more or less,” he said.

“The streets are just empty and we're losing business.”

Other businesses in the makeshift "court" are feeling the burn too.

“We were notified four days before the work started and it's really affected us,” Spot On Drycleaners owner Ray Rowe said.

“We still get our regulars coming in to get their clothes cleaned, but we're just not getting the walk-ins at the moment.”

Although not feeling the full effect of the works, Coburn & Reid Pharmacy can still see the difference since the construction began.

“We're just lucky we open up to a car park on Nish Street as well as having an entrance on Annesley Street,” owner Brent Coburn said.

“But business has died down a bit and we would have liked a bit more notice.”

Campaspe Shire Council said the works on the area were on track and running smoothly.

“Works to replace the road, footpath and gutters on Annesley St at the corner of Anstruther St are on track and progressing well,” infrastructure services general manager, Richard Conway said.

“Notification letters were sent to all affected properties and additionally was advertised in the newspaper and via social media.

“VMS boards were also set up in three locations a couple of weeks before works began. Emergency services were notified directly.”

Businesses were hoping the construction wrapped up as soon as possible in hopes their foot traffic pick back up - but they're not holding their breath.

“They say it should take up to 10 weeks to complete and I'd love for it to take eight or nine, but I think that's wishful thinking,” Matt said.

Council have said the works are due to be completed in early November.