Sign fight brews over bypassed highway business
BYPASSED by Section C of the Bruce Highway, Hell Town Hotrods' owners are frustrated by delays in getting tourist signs installed - but state regulators say their hands are tied.
Since the new section opened Mr Martin has been trying to get signage installed to tell people they are still there.
So far his efforts have been unsuccessful, and worse his interim solution - advertising on an old Austin parked beside the highway - has also caused problems.
"We've been asked to move it, it's illegal signage," he said.
While Mr Martin's own research told him that, as a registered vehicle, it could be parked on the side of the road, he said TMR was "still arguing the point".
All which left him in a bind.
"It's hard enough now to get people to know where we are," he said.
"It's going to make a huge difference if they put our signs up saying where we are."
In particular, it would be a great help for a bottom line which had been hit by $40,000 in fees and consultation costs over the past year, including a $17,000 road uses fee as part of a zone change application with Gympie Regional Council.
A TMR spokeswoman said the department was "sympathetic", but the department was restricted by a number of regulations on tourist sign applications.
"It is essential motorists are not distracted by too many signs along our busy highways and motorways," she said.
"This application has been delayed past the standard assessment time frame as there are several agencies involved.
"Given the crash history of the Bruce Highway before the upgrade, we are taking every precaution to ensure motorist safety.
"We are sympathetic to the concerns of these businesses. However we can not disregard national signage guidelines."
She said a decision on Mr Martin's application will be made soon.