Invermay business fury over road plan

INVERMAY businesses say they are furious with a possible traffic change that they argue could decimate trade.

The Infrastructure Department is looking at restricting right-hand turns from the East Tamar Highway to Lindsay Street during peak periods.

No decision has been made, but the department said it was looking to strike a compromise between increasing safety and business fears.

A spokeswoman said the department recognised that preventing a right-hand turn at the highway, also known as Goderich Street, would disadvantage some of the businesses.

Lindsay Street's Hymark manager, Simon Foot-Hill, said 50 per cent of his clients used the right-hand turn and between 200 and 300 cars passed his store every day using that route.

``We're not opposed to traffic safety measures . . . we are opposed to restrictions in trade,'' he said.  ``There's potential loss of business and it's not just us, it's every business in this area.''

The intersection clocked up the second-highest crash rate for a junction in Launceston between 2005 and 2011.

A Launceston City Council traffic study predicted things would only get worse with the addition of a Bunnings superstore opposite the crossing.

Launceston aldermen, affected businesses and motoring groups have all suggested that a roundabout could be the answer.

Tasmanian Motorcycle Council  secretary Paul Bullock has been lobbying for a roundabout there since 2010 along with removing the traffic lights at the Esplanade and Lower Charles Street intersection.

Mr Foot-Hill called for a roundabout, arguing that one was effectively used nearby at the Lindsay Street and Invermay Road intersection.

However, the department appears lukewarm to the idea, saying it was an expensive and more intrusive option.