Drivers aren’t the only ones frustrated by the disruptive work on a CBD roundabout, with businesses suffering financially too.
The second stage of the reconstruction of the roundabout at the intersection of George and Howick streets is now under way and U-turn bays have been installed on all approaches.
The work is affecting businesses in the vicinity, including O’Shea’s Barber Shop on Howick Street.
“I’m dreading how it’ll cost us over the next three months,” shop owner John O’Shea said.
“We'll get a new roundabout, but at what cost to our business? On a Friday we normally have four staff cutting all day, but today [last Friday] we've got the one.
“It’s hard for us, because we've had scaffolding on our building [the former McIntosh and McPhillamy building] for the past 12 months. It's been the hardest 12 months of business in 30 years for me because of all the work [on the building]. Now this has come along.”
Mr O’Shea said neither he nor his landlord had received any subsidies from Bathurst Regional Council because of a potential loss of income from the work.
“Maybe the council should subsidise our landlord's rates,” he said. “I can’t see why they shouldn't. Half of the rates normally go to council for services and if there is none, surely there should be some subsidy.”
The barber shop’s neighbour, Ristretto, has also seen a lack of customers.
“We’ve definitely seen a dip, with it being much quieter in the morning,” Ristretto manager Moey Ayoubi said.
“You have your quiet times throughout the day any other time of the year, but we’ve noticed we’ve had more quieter times since work has started.
“The road closure has also made it harder for the deliverers to bring us our stuff.”
Mr Ayoubi said Ristretto is thankful for its regular customers, who do try to make the effort to get there.
“We’re just lucky we already had the clientele beforehand. We’re counting on our regulars, but the prospect of attracting new clients at the moment is hard,” he said.
“We are thankful for the customers that do come, making the effort with all the works going on.”
Up on George Street, Bake, Table and Tea has also felt the sting of the roundabout reconstruction work.
Manager Erin Brown explained that the first full week of February has been “pretty quiet”, with customers commenting on how it’s now harder to get to the shop.
“As school comes back, we usually get a lot busier, but now it's a lot quieter,” she said.
“We've been running for four years now and around the start of February, business normally explodes, but that's not the case this year. We've got to cut our staff levels to cope.
“I had a look on [Thursday] around midday and there were only two cars out the front. Normally you have to fight to get a spot.
“The older people, who struggle to get around, are finding it harder to get here.”
Ms Brown suggested that perhaps the work could be done at night, to make it easier on businesses and customers.
None of the contacted businesses said they received any subsidies for lost income from Bathurst Regional Council.
Bathurst mayor Graeme Hanger said the first few weeks of the roundabout reconstruction will see the removal of the median island, blisters and the complete removal of the old roundabout.
“The anticipated time frame of this stage of works will be eight weeks, weather permitting,” he said.
“Due to the complexity of the work and the existing infrastructure, the construction of the roundabout and associated roadworks will be difficult and this may affect the progress of the works.”