ON THE BRINK: Long-standing business fights for survival
THE owner of a long-standing Warwick business said a road dispute has him fearful for the future and could cost him his livelihood.
Beaurepaires owner Jason King and manager Jason Duignan (pictured right) have seen the business practically brought to a halt with the extension of a traffic island outside the workshop, which makes it almost impossible for lucrative B-doubles to access the business.
Mr King said he had not had a B-double enter his business, situated on the corner of Condamine St and Albion St, in the three weeks since the traffic changes, when he used to get about 10 a week.
But Southern Downs Regional Council says b-doubles were never permitted to access his business from Condamine St.
Mr King said he was not aware of the restrictions, as heavy vehicles had been moving in and out with no opposition for three decades.
"I would have done whatever I could to get permission to come into that section of the road," he said.
"If (truck drivers have to) break the law to get into the premises then I'd have to do something to improve that.
"This place has been here for donkeys, (the council) approved the site initially knowing that it's a commercial store."
Mr King said B-doubles made up about 60percent of his business and without them, its future hangs in the balance.
"(Without B-doubles) I've got to lay off fitters, I've got to reduce my staff to reduce my costs," he said.
"Reducing staff adds to unemployment, adds to families losing money and possibly losing homes."
The traffic island outside the business was extended and a left turn only sign was added three weeks ago.
A traffic island and left turn only sign have also been installed on the opposite side of the intersection, at the end of Albert St.
Before the changes, heavy vehicles going to Beaurepaires pulled into the Condamine St entry and then out again, or entered from Albion St and out Condamine St, Mr King said.
But with the changes and new restrictions there is only one way in and out for large vehicles.
"They want them to drive into the driveway and reverse onto Albion St...or reverse into the premises from Albion St and out again," Mr King said.
Beaurepaires manager Jason Duignan was the first to notice the road development three weeks ago and was immediately concerned about the ability of B-doubles to use the road.
"If we can't get trucks in we won't make enough money to keep our doors open and everyone with lose their jobs," he said.
Mr King said he was happy to see a bigger Bunnings Warehouse opening, as it was likely to help his business.
But he would like to see a set of traffic lights installed to better control traffic.
He said he might be able to adapt without the heavy vehicles, but that could take months to resolve.
Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie said the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator was responsible for approving B-double routes.
Cr Dobie said she was happy to meet with any business or resident to discuss concerns, including in this case.
"If they've got B-doubles accessing their business then they need to apply to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator," Cr Dobie said.
"Council can facilitate that discussion and I'm more than happy to meet with them to discuss with them about what to do."
A council spokeswoman said the council, including one of the organisation's engineers, was working closely with Mr King to identify whether a permit, issued by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator for B Doubles to enter and exit the premises safely, could be granted.
"SDRC is assisting Mr King to explore all available options," she said.
"Before a B-double permit can be granted, all relevant roads must be assessed by NHVR, TMR (Department of Transport and Main Roads) and other relevant road managers for accessibility and safety."