BUSINESS HURTING: Avi Cohen, owner of The $2 Kingdom on James Street in Burleigh Heads, claims his business has suffered a 30 t
BUSINESS HURTING: Avi Cohen, owner of The $2 Kingdom on James Street in Burleigh Heads, claims his business has suffered a 30 t

Claims of large losses for shops



NEW parking meters in the Burleigh business district are hurting businesses, according to a local shopkeeper.

A voucher-based parking initiative was introduced to Burleigh a few weeks ago with revised higher prices and it's causing shoppers to rethink where they park and where they spend their money.

Areas such as Tedder Avenue in Surfers Paradise and Griffith Street in Coolangatta were overlooked in the city-wide parking meter strategy, but Burleigh was hit and the affect on businesses has been immediate.

Avi Cohen, owner of the $2 Kingdom on James Street, said he has experienced a 30 to 40 per cent drop in sales because people refuse to shop along the usually busy strip.

"These parking meters have caused a lot of problems. People are upset by it and they are telling us all about it," Mr Cohen said.

"There's been a huge drop in sales and there is no doubt that people prefer to go somewhere else and there's no doubt that there are less people here every day."

The parking meters are the same as those in use in Surfers Paradise and other areas, but some shoppers have complained that the machines are too complicated to use and often break down, making it impossible to park legally.

"These are major problems and people are complaining about it," Mr Cohen said.

"It's not just a drop in sales, if you look out the door you can see it's not busy, you can get a park straight away at lunch time and that is unheard of on James Street. These meters are killing the area."

Division 12 councillor Greg Betts said the effect of the meters was as yet untested.

"We'll be keeping an eye on the way things progress over the next couple of months but it looks like there's still plenty of people shopping there," Mr Betts said.

"It is a bit hard to tell because it's James Street and it's always busy; February is a slow month anyway but the area is no ghost town."

Cr Betts stressed weekly parking tickets were available for workers for $12.50, with $37 buying you a month of parking in the Burleigh business district.



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