Terrigal traffic plan will destroy local businesses

[Letters to the editor] At Central Coast Council’s recent Let’s Talk Terrigal meetings, council officers revealed their CBD traffic flow improvement, a 2 stage project which they intended to start work on during May.

Consultants to council stated that 30 per cent of traffic along Terrigal Esp was circling the block, and indicated that the best approach would be to stop vehicles circling during stage 1, by closing Terrigal Esp to all but emergency vehicles, council vehicles and busses, between Kurrawyba Ave and Campbell Cres, and force vehicles out of town instead of circling the block. The turning and return to the CBD would be a lengthy time-consuming drive that would make other destinations more attractive. But did anyone at council stop to think why these cars circle? This would be the vehicles whose occupants are wanting to do something in the area be it going to the shops, cafes, medical centre, or other services in the CBD.

Or in other words, those who spend their money in the CBD and keep Terrigal alive. The businesses in the CBD will suffer greatly without this business generated by these people who council want to go away, shoo, off you go, take your business elsewhere. It is stated in Council’s brochure, handed out at the meetings, that the restriction on traffic going along Terrigal Esp would be 6am to 8pm, all days, from October to April, and “Restricting vehicle access along Terrigal Esp during peak times will create a safer and more accessible area for pedestrians”, but there are two flaws in council’s logic. The fence on curb-side would have to be retained, as the strip would be open to all traffic between 8pm and 6am all days and all times April till October, so the surf beachside and CBD will still be separated by two fences, inhibiting pedestrian flow between the sectors, so stage 1 offers no benefits for pedestrians plus less potential drop off and pick-ups in the CBD, so for the pedestrians there are no benefits Terrigal is effectively cut North to South and East to West.

The medieval punishment, hanged drawn and quartered, comes to mind, where convicts were fastened to a wooden panel, and drawn by horse to the place of execution, where they were hanged (almost to the point of death), emasculated, disembowelled, beheaded, and quartered (chopped into four pieces). In Terrigal, council, by its own plan, will starve CBD businesses almost to death, then the business owners are disembowelled by the loss of their business and likely their home, and chopped into four pieces, representing the division of the town into four sectors. Multiple towns on the NSW coast have had bypasses built to help traffic flow, and what has happened to them, they have died, businesses closed down, local employment decreased, real estate values dropped and the pedestrian plaza created is devoid of people because the vibrant town is now nothing but shops to rent.

But wait there is more. Stage 2 sounds great, raising and paving Terrigal Plaza and part of Hudson Lne and beautification of the area. All good, but council state: “Funding for Stage 2 has not been allocated.” We all know that council keep deferring projects due to a shortage of funds, so how many years away, if ever, will this happen? How long will the area be a mess? Why start something you cannot finish? If you don’t want Terrigal to suffer, voice your opinion to the council and your local councillor.

Email, Mar 20 Ken Webster, Davistown