Couple's accident fears

THE owners of Skipton Street Fish Shop believe there is a road accident waiting to happen just outside their front door.

With gravel pavings and a steep gutter lining the carpark area out the front of their shop, they say cars either get stuck in the gutter or risk reversing into heavy traffic.

Erna de Bree and Brett Manton have owned the fish and chip shop for almost two years. They have seen dozens of cars get stuck in the gutter, some of which have to be towed out.

And many drivers who don’t want to get their cars stuck in the gutter leave their tail end exposed on the road on busy Skipton Street.

“It’s an accident waiting to happen, there is no doubt about it,” said Ms de Bree.

“My biggest fear is that someone will get stuck in the gutter and plant their foot trying to reverse out and scream out across the road. There are four lanes of traffic so it’s extremely dangerous.”

The couple say they have been lobbying Ballarat City Council to pave the parks but have had no success.

Combined with the adjoining Clever Cuts Hairdressers, they say they pay a combined $2300 in council rates each year, but get nothing in return.

“We are just trying to avoid somebody getting injured. It’s not having any affect on our business as such but we don’t want to see somebody getting cleaned up by a car,” said Ms de Bree. “At least once a month Brett will have to push a car out and sometimes we need to get tow trucks in to pull them out. 

“It’s not a little back street we’ve got here. It’s a main road into town, a town that is supposed to be a tourist city and people are getting stuck in gutters and dirt roads. It’s not good enough.”

A City of Ballarat spokesperson said the council would investigate the concerns of the Proprietors of

Skipton St Fish & Chips.

She said the council took road and community safety matters seriously and would undertake a site inspection. 

Skipton Street is a major thoroughfare for Ballarat and carries higher traffic volumes, making it popular for retail and services businesses she said.

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