UPDATE, 5pm: Businesses in Napier Street are determinedly reminding patrons that there is off street parking available in the White Hills area.
Posters in a number of trader’s windows are directing motorists to park behind the pharmacy in Plumridge Street.
“Due to the continuing works on the Napier Street upgrade we wish to alert people that the car parking has been extended from behind the chemist shop right along to the rear of the post office,” the poster reads.
“The best and easiest way to access (and) exit these parks is by entering from Plumridge Street.
“It is important that residents keep supporting our local shops… Already there have been alarming reports of a large downturn in their weekly sales.”
In June, 2017, White Hills businesses and residents highlight the elimination of parking space as a major issue of the Napier Street upgrade.
Residents presented a petition to the City of Greater Bendigo in July, 2017. It called for more off-street parking for the retail shops in White Hills.
EARLIER: Traders in White Hills remain frustrated at the loss of business caused by the Napier Street upgrade.
White Hills Takeaway manager Rae Baker has yet to see the business return to its usual level of trading after it was hemmed in by trenches and roadworks for eight weeks in February.
“We were cutoff at all sides but were determined not to close. We persevered, turned up every day and kept smiling,” she said.
“The biggest issues was having no parking. We were thankful to the regulars that kept coming.”
A lack of access for customers has seen The Loaded Plate close its doors until further notice.
Ms Baker estimated business had picked up by 25 per cent since the main part of the works had moved down Napier Street.
“We’ve still dropped (our business) by about 30 or 40 per cent but it has picked up,” she said.
“It’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel because this road will only get busier.
“They should be looking to extend up past Bunnings where it will bottleneck again.”
Ms Baker said it was also dangerous for pedestrians attempting to cross Napier Street.
“We had an elderly man fall the other day,” she said.
“You see parents with prams struggle on the median strip. It is too narrow to have a pram on it.
“There is also the bare minimum of lighting, You can’t see enough at night.”
Traffic is also being heavily affected by the roadworks.
On Monday at 10am, it took the Bendigo Advertiser almost 17 minutes to drive from Williamson Street in the CBD to Bosquet Street in White Hills.
Almost 10 minutes was spent driving at a crawl from Weeroona College Bendigo at Powell Street to Bosquet Street.
Returning to the CBD it took 13 minutes to drive from Bosquet Street via Raglan Street and the intersection Holdsworth Road, down Napier Street to the CBD.
RELATED: Napier Street major works under way
Bendigo Osteo owner Jodi Moresi said it was a shame to see so many businesses struggling.
The roadworks were in full swing with Bendigo Osteo moved into Napier Street about eight months ago.
“We don’t know any different because it was already happening,” she said.
“It is a shame to see businesses like The Loaded Plate having to close their doors. As a small business owner I feel really sorry for them.”
Ms Moresi said while it was frustrating, her business had not felt the full brunt of the roadworks.
“Because we are an appointment-based business we are able to notify our clients (by text) to expect a (traffic) delay,” she said.
When the roadworkers were set up out the front of Bendigo Osteo, Ms Moresi said they ensured clients had access to the building.
“We have parking out the back and the workmen were very good at ensuring clients could get to the carpark,” she said.
“We have had them out the front and will again. It’s something we can’t control and in long term it will better. (The upgrade) needs to be done.
“When it's finished hopefully there will an upturn for businesses.”
Regional Roads Victoria regional director Brian Westly said the organisation remained committed to minimising the disruption to local businesses and residents.
"We'll continue working closely with local businesses to make sure we meet their needs while we deliver these vital works for the growing community,” he said.
The works are currently phase two of stage two, which is expected to be completed by early next year.
Phase three of stage two will be completed by mid-2019 with stage three works beginning earlier in the month between Cambridge Crescent and Weeroona Avenue.
Stage one works were completed between July and October in 2017.
Regional Roads Victoria said the entire project is on schedule to be completed by mid-2019.
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