KWR is priority 1
I wish the new Unley Council the best in its deliberations over the next 4 years.
With so many new Councillors (and so many women) the old apple cart will frequently be up-ended. It will be interesting to reflect on as an observer.
Over the next 13 months, the most important issue (by far) for Unley Council is the rebuilding of King William Road; how to do it and retain a high level of business for the local traders. It will be a tough and consuming task.
Already the traders are anxious and expressing concern about forecast hard times. There have been public calls for compensation for lost trade.
That won't happen. Council won't go down that path. It certainly didn't for Goodwood Road.
During the re-build of Goodwood Road, the businesses were severely impacted with lost trade (down 40-60%), staff laid off, less people driving to the shops. Yes, at all times there was public access to the entrance to each shop; but people weren't driving there. And the big difference is that Goodwood Road was not closed to traffic; just for 2 nights when the road was resurfaced with bitumen.
Hopefully the learning experience from the rebuild of Goodwood Road will be applied to King William Road (KWR). It needs to be because the financial impact will be significantly greater for KWR; and it is a more complex build due to the brick paving for the footpath, parking and road.
Options for the new Council:
- Consider using bitumen for the road. This is ~20% cheaper than brick paving and faster to lay with reduced road closure(s).
- Consider working 24x7. Not great for the nearby locals and night economy; but a significantly reduced timeframe. The higher cost would be reduced by using bitumen.
- Work with the landlords and apply pressure on them to reduce their rents during the 6-8 months of disruption. I don't accept that an outcome can't be negotiated.
The rebuild of KWR will be a huge challenge for the new Unley Council.
It must be the number 1 priority.