The recent completion of the light rail network in Canberra brings promise of diverse employment opportunities, vibrancy in local economy, and long-term sustainability. Yet owners of businesses along the just completed project route look back and sadly share how their businesses have been adversely affected while it was in progress.
Alongside the decrease in foot traffic resulting from the construction work, were plummeting sales.While some waited for the hard times to subside, other business owners were forced to close shop.
Business owner Sandra Nielson who operates a café on Harrison’s Fleming ton Road said that while she thinks the project would bring positive impact, it made them see the worst times in the past two years.Her husband had to find a full time job as her business suffered from 50 to 75 per cent revenue loss.She has also witnessed a lot of other businesses closing their doors.
Ms. Nielson is keeping her hopes high that she and other business owners will recover with the increase in the number of passengers in the area.
The Second Phase of the Project
The disruptions that occurred have been recognized by top officials.Chief Minister of ACT, Andrew Barr, was quoted saying that he was aware of the toll on businesses on the project route, and thanked business owners for being patient.
It is foreseen that it will be different with phase two of the project, which will pass through Parliamentary Triangle to Wodenas lessons learned in stage one will be considered.
As stage two is about to take off, Minister of Transport MeeganFitzharrisassuresa range of improvements to be implemented,like maintaining lines of communication, understanding costumer behavior,and consultation regarding timelines when road closures have tobe enforced.
Fast forward, when the project is completed, it is expected that businesses on the route would pick up.An upswing in new opportunities is expected as well.In particular,those in the fitout business would be in demand as existing ones would refurbish for a fresh look and to look different from the rest.It would be beneficial for those that are yet to start to hire a fitout at the start to minimize on future expenses for renovations.This early food shops can start looking for restaurant fitouts in Canberra for potential future tie-ups.