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Caloundra business of 27 years in jeopardy as traffic lights to go in

Rainbow Fuel’s Ryan Hidassy is outraged over a decision to install traffic lights at a Caloundra intersection, he says will result in a loss of vital street parking

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Caloundra business of 27 years in jeopardy as traffic lights to go in

New traffic lights at a Caloundra intersection will “kill” business for Rainbow Fuel.

More than a decade after a similar plan was abandoned, traffic lights will now be installed at a notorious Caloundra intersection.

Sunshine Coast Council is upgrading the corner of Arthur Street and Bowman Road with a signalised intersection and pedestrian crossing.

“The upgrade to traffic lights will make it easier and safer for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to travel onto Bowman Road from Arthur Street and to cross Bowman Road,” a council spokesperson says.

“This important upgrade will include new signalised pedestrian and cycle crossing facilities, improve overall safety, cater for increased traffic volumes at the busy intersection, and feature new sections of pathway to improve pedestrian access.”

Bowman Road is a major double-lane thoroughfare from Caloundra Road and is crossed by Arthur Street, which runs from Kings Beach to Third Avenue.

For drivers on Arthur Street, it can be difficult to cross four lanes of Bowman Road to access the many sporting facilities on the other side of Arthur Street such as the Caloundra Aquatic Centre and rugby and cricket grounds.

However, the project has outraged local business owner Ryan Hidassy, from Rainbow Fuel, who says the family business will lose about 20 vital street parking spaces and therefore customers.

Mr Hidassy says the fuel station is the largest tobacconist on the Sunshine Coast and requires parking on the street.

He says the three-month construction period will have a huge impact on the family business of 27 years, which will be made worse by the loss of parking.

“This will kill our business for three months. They say we can work around it but if the area is blocked off who’s going to want to stop? Not a single person. They’ll just drive by,” he says.

“We are not happy at all, we will lose all the parking and not just us but the businesses next door like Revolution (Autocare).”

The Hidassy family originally fought plans for traffic lights and a median strip in 2010 when they presented a petition to council with hundreds of signatures. Construction had been scheduled for June of that year but never went ahead.

Council has now returned to the drawing board to start the ball rolling.

“Pricing will be sought in the coming weeks with this project being funded as part of council’s annual capital works program,” says a council spokesperson.

“Tenders for construction of the project will be called this month with construction expected to start in May with works anticipated to be complete in August, weather and site conditions permitting.

“Traffic management and signage will be in place to ensure the safety of pedestrians, motorists and the construction team carrying out the works.

“The intersection will remain operational and all directions of traffic will remain open during construction.

“Reduced speed limits and temporary lane closures may be required, however two-way traffic will remain at all times.”

A spokesperson says council will continue to keep nearby property owners, businesses and other stakeholders updated prior to works starting and during construction to provide details about specific activities, temporary traffic changes and periodic night works.

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