Council says parking won't be a problem
ROCKHAMPTON Regional Council has reassured motorists there will be plenty of car parks on offer at the new-look riverbank, after business owners in the CBD raised concerns about the development.
Norm Jeha, who owns Rockhampton Fitness Centre and Needlework Cottage, said a lack of parking around the CBD and riverbank was one of the biggest issues facing the redevelopment.
He said parking was "just so vital for your business” and a lack of spaces would put people off visiting the riverbank and shops in the area.
This would be another blow for Needlework Cottage, which Norm said had already suffered from decreased trade as construction along Quay St moves into a new phase.
Norm said he was pleased to see Livingstone Shire Council's multi-level car park near the foreshore precinct and hoped Rockhampton may be able to achieve something similar.
"Parking is so essential for this riverbank project,” he said.
"The car park would be a bigger asset than anything.”
But council moved to ease concerns, saying the redevelopment would see only five spaces lost.
Council yesterday advised prior to the development there were 221 spaces.
Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow said parking was "a clear and major priority throughout the project”.
She said under stage one of the Quay St proposal, 31 parks would be lost, with a further 14 informal parks lost in stage two.
But council plans to replace those spaces by creating dedicated parking at the low bank William St car park, as well as adding parks to Quay St.
Additionally, Cr Strelow said new stairs had been added to ease access to the Victoria Pde riverside car park and six car parks were created in front of The Criterion.
When Denham St is re-opened from East St to Quay St, 17 car parks and a loading zone are expected to be created.
Cr Strelow said 31 car parks along Quay St were lost due to strict Australian standards for heritage tree preservation, but that eight additional parks would be included on Quay St between William St and Derby St.
"A measurable sign of success of the Riverbank Project will be every car park in the CBD full,” she said. "We have also recently adopted a longer term car parking strategy for the CBD which tells us that if we manage the over-stayers, we currently have enough car parks, but we also need more parking spaces in the future.”