Leederville: March trial street closures hit some businesses but favour others

Leederville: March trial street closures hit some businesses but favour others

SOME Leederville businesses experienced modest losses and gains during the March trial street closures, according to Curtin University’s Shane Greive.

Dr Greive said while he was still analysing data collected throughout the four Sunday afternoons that roads were closed to cars in the Leederville centre, initial findings showed trading was up for some and on par or slightly down for others.

He said he counted customers at each participating establishment on the hour and compared the figures.

“For anyone selling ice cream or doughnuts, business went way up, some food and beverage operators saw a significant gross in the market, some retailers had about four or five customers when they might usually have two; The Garden would go from 75 to 90 to 150 people,” he said.

Dr Greive said Sienna’s reported a slight drop off, which they attributed to lack of nearby parking.

“Parking was generally good and people weren’t usually parked more than 100m away from where they needed to be but I think it came down to accessibility; if families wanted to have dinner out but grandma could not make it, they went elsewhere,” he said.

He said the weather, football and St Patrick’s Day were major factors affecting attendance numbers each week.

City of Vincent Mayor Emma Cole said Sundays were “definitely busier than usual” during the trial.

“Feedback we’ve received from Leederville Connect and the local community, and from experiencing it myself, we think there were more people, greater activity and a really positive vibe on the streets,” she said.

“This wasuncharted territory so well done to the local businesses that made the most of the opportunity by trading out on the street, extending their alfresco area, hiring performers or by simply staying open for longer.”

Ms Cole said three residents with concerns about access to their property contacted the City during the trial.

“There were some very minor issues with the traffic signage during the first two closures, which we’ll take on board for the future,” she said.

She said she would like to see the City host similar events again in the future.

“The City’s administration will now review the trial results, including research undertaken by Curtin University, and prepare a report for council,” she said.

“This report will outline the impact the trial closure had on the town centre and the potential for future closures.”