Roadside vendor frustrated at ban

The owner of Stray Cat Coffee said his drinks had become popular while he parked on Indian Ocean Drive earlier this year, but last week he was told Main Roads would not permit his commercial activity at the truck spot.

Mr Bennett said many of the people who stopped were tourists and truck drivers who had travelled long distances.

He said he did not understand why his business was not permitted, while Driver Reviver caravans had been allowed to park at the same spot.

‘They cited that it’s actually a safety issue, (but) many a truck driver has said it’s the best truck access and egress there,’ he said.

‘The government spends a lot of money trying to combat driver fatigue.’

Main Roads public affairs manager Dean Roberts said the department did not have the power to allow commercial enterprises to sell coffee or other refreshments on some of the main country highways, as no process currently existed to allow it to happen safely.

‘The major issue is ensuring the safety of people when they access these sites,’ he said.

Mr Roberts said they were looking at ways to change the Main Roads Act to allow some vending activity, with rules and processes to ensure the safety of the public and vendors.

‘Main Roads does however allow community-based Driver Reviver stalls to set up on designated roadside parking areas where vehicles have left-in, left-out access and are totally off the road,’ he said.

‘These stalls, which are community-run and non-profit, provide free coffee at specific times, holiday seasons like Christmas and Easter, on major highway routes.’