Businesses favour bus relocation

A LARGE proportion of Launceston businesses support a proposal to relocate the city's main bus stations from St John Street.

A survey conducted by Cityprom revealed that 79 per cent of respondents were in agreement, with 37 per cent saying the two major Metro stops in the street had a negative impact on business - 14 per cent said they had a positive effect, 32 per cent replied ``both'' and 18 per cent were undecided.

Seventy-three businesses between the corner of Paterson and St John streets and Elizabeth and St John streets were surveyed.

Launceston City Council Alderman Hugh McKenzie, who championed the idea last week, said 73 per cent believed the Transit Centre on the corner of Cimitiere and St John streets would be a good alternative.

Other suggestions included Princes Square, Elizabeth Street and further down St John Street near the library.

Businesses disagreed with the Greater Launceston Plan to upgrade the current stops.

``We've had feedback that some multinational companies aren't willing to establish themselves in the CBD because of the location of bus stops, so we really need to explore how we can overcome this,'' Alderman McKenzie said yesterday.

Cityprom executive officer Vanessa Cahoon said the results showed there was a ``real concern'' that needed to be addressed, with a need to find viable options.

``One suggestion has been to maintain the current sites for drop-off points but relocate the pick-up points,'' Ms Cahoon said. ``It's important that any changes take into account the needs of everyone using the public transport system, particularly the elderly and disabled.''

Other comments obtained in the survey suggested a shuttle run from the Transit Centre into the city to assist the elderly and disabled and temporarily changing  collection and drop-off points between 3pm and 5pm on schooldays.

SURVEY RESULTS

Do you believe that the location of a city bus stop in close proximity to your business has an impact?

Yes: 58 per cent No: 34 per cent Unsure: 8 per cent

Would you describe that impact as positive or negative?

Positive: 14 per cent Negative: 37 per cent 

Both: 32 per cent Unsure: 18 per cent

Would you support the relocation of St John Street bus stops to an alternative area?

Yes: 79 per cent No: 14 per cent Unsure: 7 per cent

One of the proposed sites for the relocation of the St John Street bus stops is the Transit Centre, would you support this?

Yes: 73 per cent No: 25 per cent Unsure: 3 per cent

Do you think the relocation would have a negative impact on your business?

Yes: 21 per cent No: 78 per cent 

Do you think the relocation of the bus stops would have a negative impact on the city?

Yes: 23 per cent No: 77 per cent

Would you support an upgrade of the current city bus stops rather than a relocation of St John St stops?

Yes: 18 per cent No: 75 per cent Unsure: 7 per cent

Do you have any suggestions on where the St John St bus stops could be relocated to?

■ Princes Square area

■ Elizabeth Street

■ Lower St John St (near library)

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