Beaufort bypass: Residents prepare for Western Highway project after EES release | The Courier

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“They just don’t stop, it’s all day.” Long-time Beaufort resident Sara Kittelty opened her new cafe and cake store late final 12 months on the Servo@23 craft store, on the Western Highway. Speaking to The Courier on a traditional Thursday morning, the heavy truck site visitors is relentless as they roll into city. “It’s a deterrent to sitting outside and enjoying the weather and the town,” she mentioned. “I think a lot of people stop here on the way between Horsham and Melbourne, or Ballarat and Adelaide, and that stopping will still happen regardless of the bypass.” The Environmental Effects Statement for that bypass, which is predicted to be constructed north of the township, was launched for public remark this week – it particulars precisely what the consultants suppose will occur to Beaufort when it is ultimately completed. READ MORE: Beaufort bypass: Environmental Effects Statement predicts $5 million financial hit for Western Highway challenge In quick: there will be lots much less site visitors going by means of the city, and which means much less vehicles, nevertheless it’ll imply a $5 million hit to the at the moment thriving economic system. The fundamental road – the freeway – is dotted with cafes and craft outlets, encouraging individuals to take a break. Riley Hammond, who’s labored on the Pyrenees Pantry on the city’s solely set of site visitors lights for about 5 years, mentioned “maybe 60 per cent” of the enterprise coming by means of the doorways was from individuals going from one place to a different. “I think there are definitely pros and cons to the bypass – in the short term, we’ll get a lot of road crews and construction workers, that’ll be a fair bit of business for the town, and once it’s done, you’ll have the trucks out of the town, so less noise and pollution,” he mentioned. “But at the same time, those truckies are business for the town, and with a bypass, it won’t just be truckies getting time off their trip, it’ll be everyday people as well.” He mentioned the city wants to verify it stays on the map, “advertising and promoting itself”. “There’ll be people that won’t stop unless you give them a good reason for it,” he mentioned. “(There) will be a loss of some business so we need to keep promoting the town, then the positives should outweigh the negatives.” The Beaufort Progress Association has been combating onerous for years to maintain the highlight in town, with new and rejuvenated initiatives like a bigger market, a museum devoted to Vegemite, and extra emphasis on native artists. The Association’s Sarah Beaumont mentioned there are a number of opinions on the bypass by means of the city. “Our primary focus is really to make sure once the bypass goes through – before the bypass goes through – there’s enough stuff happening in Beaufort to make sure people come off the freeway for us,” she mentioned. “We believe in the long run it will contribute to making Beaufort a destination, and by working towards that, we hope that Beaufort will benefit.” Once the bypass is full, there shall be a “lull” in the main street, but Ms Beaumont said she was confident it would be a “short-term hit”. “It will wipe out some businesses for sure, but other businesses will come,” she mentioned. “It won’t have an impact on other businesses in this part of the world, the agricultural businesses will remain untouched and it may actually benefit them with a better road to get their goods to market, it’s just the retail hub in the main street that is going to take the biggest hit.” The city is slowly rising – on the final census, it was about 1500 individuals – with newcomers discovering the small-town really feel engaging, in addition to its proximity to providers. Steve McWhinney and Lyn Harvey moved to the city from South Australia “about five years ago”. “It has all the facilities, and we have family in the regions and in Melbourne, there’s a train service,” Ms Harvey mentioned. “People know it’s the place to stop, it’s two hours out of Meloburne and there’s great coffee here.” “The traffic gets banked up in the holidays, then they learned how to go through the town on the back roads,” Mr McWhinney added. “A lot of the locals here have told me they’ve been talking about it for years and years – I think (it’s a positive), as long as they can come into Beaufort if they want to.” One of these locals who’s been speaking about it for years is James Allen from Beaufort’s Big Garage Sale. “When I started here, they suggested it might happen very soon, and that was 30 years ago, so now they’re saying it’s going to happen very soon, so it could be another 20 years,” he mentioned. IN THE NEWS “We’ll become more of a little town than a highway town, and you’ll be able to do things on the highway that you can’t do now because you can’t talk (over the trucks). “It’s due.” Construction funding has not yet been allocated, and there is no timeframe for when the project might begin. The EES and draft planning amendments are available to view online and at the Beaufort Library, the Pyrenees Shire Council office in Beaufort, the Regional Roads Victoria office in Wendouree, and the DELWP office on Mair Street in Ballarat. Public comment, including through the Engage Victoria platform online, closes May 13. Have you signed up to The Courier’s variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that’s happening in Ballarat.



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