Businesses fear being bypassed
WITH the Alstonville bypass just a few months from completion, retailers are calling for a visitors information centre to be set up in the main street.
Currently, the town’s only tourist information centre is located at the House With No Steps, which is 3km out of town on Wardell Road.
Candy Fitness, the owner of clothing shop Candy Lane, said a central visitors centre was desperately needed.
“I think it would be fabulous,” she said.
“I mean, it’s great that the House With No Steps is doing it.
“But I still get a lot of people coming into my shop asking for directions, where they can get a good coffee, what they should see in the area.
“I keep maps of the region in the shop and hand them out to people.
“I wouldn’t want to take any business away from the House With No Steps, but we need to think about the practicality of it.
“I still direct people to it because it’s a great drawcard for our area.
“But I think most business owners believe that a visitors centre in the main street would be good, particularly once the bypass is finished.”
Richard Lutze, a former executive member of the Alstonville-Wollongbar Chamber of Commerce, agreed.
“There has been talk about moving the visitors centre back to the main part of town,” he said.
“It would be done in conjunction with the House With No Steps.
“It’s certainly something that we would like.”
Mr Lutze said issues such as funding and staff had to be considered.
The Alstonville bypass is expected to be open before the end of this year and, once finished, will halve the number of cars going through the town.
Meanwhile, the Chamber of Commerce has been urging local businesses to have a say on the proposed bypass signs.
Commissariat Alicia Foster said they had to make sure the signs were what the community wanted.
“It is an important job for us as a chamber, and we need input from all of our members,” she said.
The chamber will help decide on the RTA roadside signs, as well as the gateway entrance signs for Wollongbar and Alstonville.