Traders on Bell St struggling
BELL ST traders have experienced a steep decline in trade since the loss of on-street parking bays.
The bays have been converted into a taxi rank, and bus zones take up most of the street.
On the other side of the street is a work zone for Icon Ipswich.
The only bays that remain are three disabled parks.
Tirra Lirra Coffee Emporium co-owner Craig Scott said trade had hit an all-time low.
"Before Translink basically took over our street there were three parks near the shop," he said.
"Now, all the convenience of the street has been lost.
"We opened in February last year and it (business) built up beautifully. It wasn't huge but it was making money and growing ... and now we're looking at closing," Mr Scott said.
Noodle City owner George Liang said customers often complained about the lack of parking, and many had stopped buying takeaway.
"Our trade has gone down, a lot of our customers used to park out the front but now we've lost the parks. I understand the need for disabled parking and public transport, but if the loading zones were opened up for us after 5pm that would help."
Councillor Andrew Antoniolli said he empathised with the traders and was negotiating with stakeholders.
"So far the biggest gain we've had is the introduction of a taxi zone behind Woolworths that will take pressure off the Bell St rank," he said.
"We're hoping Translink will give up some of their space, our view is that Translink can do some remodelling of services."
Cr Antoniolli said there were plans to reshuffle some zones.
"We're looking at moving a few things around and having up to two 15-minute parking bays in the street," he said.
Charlie Summerville, of Charlie's Barber Shop, said he had operated in Bell St for 40 years.
"I've lost regular customers to big shopping centres with lots of parking," Mr Summerville said.
"Now they're talking about 15-minute zones, and you can't get a haircut in 15 minutes."
Stage One of the Icon Ipswich development is under way. Stage One is the building of the largest of three towers;
It will be complete by about September 2013;
The first tower will have the capacity for up to 1200 staff;
Dates for future stages have not been revealed.