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Butcher furious over Barolin St upgrade

FED UP: Just Meats owner Ross Heckendorf says he losing 50 percent of his customers due to ongoing road works on Barolin Street. Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail
FED UP: Just Meats owner Ross Heckendorf says he losing 50 percent of his customers due to ongoing road works on Barolin Street. Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail Zach Hogg BUN020914ROS1

A SMALL business owner says he is rapidly losing clientele and has had to throw away thousands of dollars worth of perished product as a result of upgrades to Barolin St.

Ross Heckendorf came out of retirement about eight months ago to open his butcher's shop, Just Meats, on Watson St.

Where there was once two main entry points to the road, from Maryborough St and Barolin St, a traffic island has now been installed, prohibiting customers from turning right from Barolin St.

"Business has gone backwards because people can't get here and when they do, they have to run the gauntlet with all the trucks and machinery," Mr Heckendorf said.

"People don't want to come here because it's just a bunfight," he said.

Mr Heckendorf said in the past few weeks he has had to throw away thousands of dollars worth of meat products due to the lull in trade since the roadworks began.

"If they had told us the week before we would have cut back on orders," he said.

"Even though customers are making the effort, soon enough they'll get fed up and not bother.

"We're not here to make a fortune but we are in business - it's a service to people in the area."

He said loads of gravel and dirt were being dumped on Watson St by the council workers, limiting car parking space to his business.

"It's just a case of doing the traffic island the right way but they haven't done it," he said.

"They could have put in a turn-off lane."

Mr Heckendorf said motorists were staying well away from Barolin St.

"We rely on drive-past traffic and people being able to get here," he said.

"The council has made it very, very difficult."

Mr Heckendorf said he felt there had been "poor planning" leading up to the upgrade.

"At the end of the day, if they create a problem you tend to think there would be some sort of compensation.

"Improvements have to be made and sometimes it inconveniences people but we could have planned ahead."

The council's roads portfolio spokesman Tony Ricciardi said the Barolin/Watson St intersection had the second highest crash rate on the council's road network in the Bundaberg area and had been identified as a black spot.

But Mr Heckendorf said the existing stop sign at the end of Watson St was already a solution to the "black spot".

"There's been hardly any accidents since the stop sign was put in," he said.

Cr Ricciardi said there had been significant public consultation during the planning stages.

"All businesses were advised of the scope of the works proposed prior to the commencement of construction through a comprehensive consultation process," he said.

"Just Meats retains customer access to his shop via McIlwraith Street and Maryborough Street."

Cr Ricciardi said the council provided specific signage to identify parking and location signage for Just Meats.

"Maintaining access for affected residents and businesses is a priority for construction crews and to this end, while there has been the anticipated complaints there has also been much positive feedback regarding the manner in which the work is being carried out," he said.

Topics:  barolin st, butcher, road works



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