Marooned

A NEW traffic island on Hampton Road that’s supposed to keep kids safe is hurting business, says South Fremantle IGA grocery manager Ricky Agustinho.

Although Mr Agustinho says he wants kids to be safe, he’s unhappy at the way Fremantle council installed the island, saying the store wasn’t asked.

There have been eight traffic accidents along that strip of Hampton in the last five years, says the council.

Some have resulted in injuries to children, including 10-year-old Oscar Holohan, whose broken leg in 2016 prompted resident Liam Carter to create an online petition calling for Main Roads to take action.

Mr Carter says he’s disappointed the resulting island has affected Mr Agustinho’s shop, but says the council and Main Roads had to take action.

“The focus should always be on ensuring safety for residents, particularly kids, but if a solution can be reached that is supported by businesses, that is ideal”, he said.

• South Fremantle IGA grocery manager Ricky Agustinho. Photo by Steve Grant

Mr Agustinho says the island has backfired somewhat, as some cars have begun to make dangerous u-turns and speed through back roads in order to get to his store.

He says others are simply bypassing the shop, hitting his turnover.

Traffic now banks up near the only entry into the carpark, meaning drivers have fewer gaps in the traffic to turn right onto Hampton and are forced to take greater risks.

The extended traffic island was only a trial, and the council is now canvassing residents whether they want to keep it, or open the intersection back up and move the school crossing 50 metres south and the bus stop slightly north. The options have been posted on mysay.fremantle.wa.gov.au

By WILSON BELL

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