Speaking to the owners of the businesses on Flores Rd one cannot help but feel a lttle sorry for them.
The road works that are currently being done at the corner of Place Rd and Flores Rd are hindering vehicles from entering their street, and costing each business thousands of dollars.
One business owner remarked that they were out of pocket personally $50,000 so far. Each business spoken to along the road agreed that the roadworks has hindered people from getting to their business, and they have noticed significant drop in sales.
The Geraldton Guardian in their coverage of the effects on local trade, said that at least one local business, GT Car Sales, has been forced to close his doors.
It is generally agreed thought that the intersection was previously dangerous, so something certainly needed to be done. But the costs to the businesses is real and does hurt them. People simply aren't driving past their stores any more, and sales have slumped.
On facebook.com/everythinggeraldton community reaction was divided over the impacts of the delays. Some people were quite frustrated with the delays to the road works, but others were very positive that the short term pain was going to be worth the safety improvements along the road. (click to read comments)
Should the council be helping to compensate the businesses? Ultimately if they do this, it's the rate payer that will bear the cost.
We reached out to the City of Geraldton regarding the matters, asking them for comment. They said they were unable to comment much about the situation due to the matters being before their insurer.
Local business owners are not excited about the thought of having to wrestle with an insurance company if they want any compensation.
The council did however provide this brief statement:
The City and WBHO is currently working towards the completion of works to the Flores Road intersection. The upgrade is considered essential to the safety of pedestrians and motorists and will provide numerous benefits for businesses and local community.
The City will continue to work with local businesses and endeavour to address any concerns they raise as a result of the works. The City would encourage businesses to consider contacting their own insurer with any loss of trading queries as they would be in the best position to assist them.
Programmed practical completion date under contractural obligation is January 23 when the intersection will be open to traffic.
Could the council assist by providing rate relief for the businesses affected or have they done everything they are expected to?
Local residents are called on to continue supporting the businesses on Flores Rd that they used to frequent, using the alternative access routes provided.