Chamber president Jeremy Challacombe.
Chamber president Jeremy Challacombe.

Retailers back shifting bus stop

PRINCE Street retailers and the Grafton Chamber of Commerce are getting behind a bid to move the bus stop out the front of Prince Street’s Saraton Theatre.

The latest addition to Prince Street, ice-cream parlour I Scream, established a shop near the Saraton Theatre in the hope of making the clock tower end of the street an entertainment hub.

“We chose this site after eight months of searching because it was near the Saraton,” owner Jeff Smith said.

“When the Saraton opens I’m hoping the area will be a hub of night-time activity and entertainment.

“We have tailored the shop to the cinema so it is crucial to the vision I have for the clock tower area to become an entertainment hub, so I would like to see it open sooner rather than later,” he said.

Grafton Chamber of Commerce president Jeremy Challacombe said the chamber was certainly in favour of moving the bus stop, with the next step being to act as a mediator.

“We will try and resolve the current dispute between Spiro (Saraton owner), council, Busways and the traffic committee to get things moving,” he said.

“There is already a bus stop in Prince Street and the general consensus is that the King Street site would be preferred by many.

“Feedback from chamber members and people in the community is that they are sick of driving to Yamba or Coffs Harbour to see a movie,” he said.

Clarence Valley councillors have supported the removal for the bus stop and are in negotiations with Busways to come up with an alternative route.

Owner of One Zero in King Street, Bill Bennett, shares the same view as many local retailers, saying the King Street area would be the preferred site for another bus stop.

“With the demographics of this centre’s shoppers, the old King Street bus stop is sorely missed and we would like to see it back. It’s almost a necessity,” he said.

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