Southern Metropolitan Region - Road closures due to Level Crossing Removals (10.3.2016)
Written on the 16 March 2016
10 March 2016
GEORGIE CROZIER (LIB - Southern Metropolitan)
My constituency question is for Minister for Public Transport, who is responsible for the removal of level crossings.
The level crossing removal works at North Road, Ormond, over the past few months have had several road closures to enable works to be undertaken. Obviously with such a project you would expect some degree of disruption to the surrounding areas. During the course of this particular project I have spoken with and met a number of traders who have also been very understanding of the disruption that a project of this size would cause. However, what they have been particularly frustrated about is the timing of information becoming available. Information coming just weeks before closures of roads during the January period has had a massive impact on some businesses, which will never be able to recoup those losses. Transactions, consumers using the shopping strip and generation of new business activity have been significantly down on previous years. At the same time wages, rents and other business costs need to be paid.
The disruptions are still ongoing. Only today I heard from a constituent who is a local trader saying a road closure had occurred, making access to his business extremely difficult.
Will the minister ensure that for the duration of this project proper notification of major disruptions is given so that those local traders, who are already doing it tough with loss of income, have an ability to plan for any future disruption?
Answers to Constituency Questions
Southern Metropolitan Region
Question asked by Ms CrozierDirected to Minister for Public Transport
Asked on 10 March 2016
The delivery of public infrastructure projects, particularly of this scale, may result in some temporary disruption.
The Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) has been working closely with the community, including local traders to minimise disruption where feasible, and provide as much notification as possible.For example, the LXRA provided notice of the January 2016 road closures in October 2015 and the Easter 2016 road closures was communicated in December 2015.
In addition, specific initiatives have been undertaken to support local traders, including:- Providing comprehensive information about upcoming works via project updates and construction notifications, including road closures (around 380 000 flyers and notifications have been distributed to the community to date);
- Holding more than 80 briefings with local traders to discuss project works and ways to manage construction impacts;- Working with trader representatives on an integrated marketing plan which includes the popular 'Open for Business' campaign. The campaign includes a dedicated trader web site and brochure mail drops highlighting trader promotions and offers;
- Hosting a marketing workshop for traders who would like to learn more about marketing their businesses (to take place in April 2016);- Offering business mentoring services to traders who require additional support;
- Placing advertisements in local papers to communicate closures and the 'Open for Business' message; and- Sharing traffic management plans with traders, identifying available parking for customers, and providing signage and staff to help direct people. Pedestrian access to local businesses is maintained at all times.
Importantly, careful planning means the project will now be completed in late 2016, six months ahead of schedule.
Major road works have also been brought forward to minimise road disruption during the major rail shutdown in June/July 2016.
The LXRA will continue to work closely with local traders to keep them abreast of planned disruptions and enable them to plan ahead.