Gap woes affecting business
LORRAINE Dent reckons the landslide and road problems at Cunningham's Gap should have been fixed long ago and is sick and tired of losing hundreds of dollars a day from lost tourist trade.
Ms Dent runs Lorraine's Breakfast, Lunch and Coffee in Palmerin Street, just up from Fitzroy Street and in her 21 months in the business, estimates half her business is from travellers.
“I do from 10 to 25 breakfasts a day but it is often only five when the Gap is closed or only partially opened,” Ms Dent said.
Her loss is even greater when both the Gap and the Cunningham Highway to the west are closed as happened on Thursday.
“I lost more than $350 turnover on Thursday,” she said.
“Other shop owners have told me they notice a similar drop in trade when the Gap is closed,” Ms Dent said.
She has many patrons from Boonah and Beaudesert who prefer to head west to Warwick for a quiet day shopping rather than head to more populated areas and don't come when the Gap is out.
Ms Dent has spoken to Mayor Ron Bellingham and Member for Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg about the Gap.
“It is a national highway, this is 2011, it should have been fixed a long time ago,” she said.
“People often come for breakfast on the way to Stanthorpe to stay overnight or for a few days and others call for lunch on the way home from Stanthorpe.
“If travellers drive through Toowoomba when the Gap is closed, they get a meal and fuel there and not in Warwick.”
Gap and roads update
Warwick police reported yesterday that Cunningham's Gap was open.
Due to maintenance or high demand, the 131940 site was displaying a low bandwidth version of traffic and travel information showing only incidents and closures and limits.
The number referred callers to the website or the RACQ number.
The 13 19 40 site did indicate the Barwon Highway west of Goondiwindi was closed.
Reports from police late yesterday afternoon:
Warwick to Toowoomba – open
Cunningham Highway west of Warwick – open but could close during night
Warwick to Killarney – open. Water just under the bridge at Murray's Bridge.