City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Bob Dwyer has called on the NSW Government to ramp up its support for businesses impacted by Parramatta Light Rail construction after announcing it would continue works over summer.
Transport for NSW on Thursday revealed it will no longer halt construction on Church Street for a three-month ‘grace period’ from 1 November, following consultation with businesses.
“We understand many local businesses support an earlier finish to major works and we hope this fast-tracking helps minimise impacts for them,” Cr Dwyer said.
“However, Eat Street is a vital dining and retail district in Parramatta and these businesses have been doing it tough because of COVID-19 and Parramatta Light Rail construction.
“Now is the time for the NSW Government to ramp up its support for Parramatta’s restaurants, cafes and retailers – especially since foot traffic has taken such a huge hit.
“I am calling on the NSW Government to match City of Parramatta Council’s own funding commitments to keep businesses, and our City, buzzing.”
Council has written to Transport for NSW asking that it provide additional support for local businesses in lieu of the grace period, including:
- matching Council’s offer to invest up to $70,000 in a Church Street marketing campaign;
- matching Council’s offer to invest up to $250,000 in our new initiative which provides free parking at the Riverbank and Eat Street car parks on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights to help restaurants;
- stopping construction on Church Street at 5pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday so businesses can maximise dinner dining trade;
- improving pedestrian access on Church Street by installing mid-block crossings;
- installing high-quality hoardings to help reduce noise and dust;
- installing new signage on key roads and intersections to direct people to Church Street; and
- offering Church Street businesses rent support.
“Council has long advocated for a world-class light rail network and when completed, Parramatta Light Rail will transform our City,” Cr Dwyer said.
“Council looks forward to continuing to work with the NSW Government to connect our City while supporting local businesses.”