By Danika Dent
IT’S raining in misty Nyora and a woman struggles out of her car.
There’s no footpath, so she walks along the road, before negotiating a slippery and steep driveway, trying to avoid the muddy puddles and finally makes it to her local chemist.
The new Nyora pharmacy opened eight weeks ago.
It is finally a sign of life in the long empty Nyora pub building.
The majority of clients are elderly, some with mobility issues and they travel from Poowong and Loch to fill their scripts.
However, many have been caught out by the VLine bus stop, which is directly outside the pharmacy’s front door.
While the bus is only at the bus stop for a maximum of 12 minutes throughout the day, no parking is permitted in the space.
Further down the road, near the railway crossing there is a car park and covered shelter.
A community letter submitted to the Department of Public Transport and Public Transport Victoria requesting to have the bus stop moved about 50 metres down the road have indicated costs to be around $30,000.
“The thing is, it’s been convenient for VLine to have the bus stop at what was a vacant shop,” ward councillor Lorraine Brunt said.
“They’ve used the verandah for years, but now there’s a shop back in there.
“Now it’s time to support a local business, which we are very thankful for – there’s finally something in this building.”
Cr Brunt said there was a Drainage and Development plan in the works for Nyora (the Nyora Development Plan is due to come to council for discussion on July 6), which will identify the urgent need for kerb and channelling and footpaths.
However, she said it was likely the onus would be placed on developers to install the infrastructure.
“How long will that be? Well, how long’s a piece of string?!
“It’s a question now of who do we support? Should we wait for the developers, or support a business that has already put money into the town?”
Plenty of options
To make a frustrating situation worse, there are a number of options for the VLine bus stop so it has minimal impacts on users:
• The space could be used for car parking at set times
• The stop could be moved 50m down the road opposite the existing car park and bus shelter
• A bus stop could be moved into the Nyora railway station, which has car parking, shelters, public toilets, skate park and large turning circle
• Kerb and channelling, and footpaths could be installed to encourage people to park elsewhere in the town and walk.
“Nyora’s expecting a lot of growth which will bring more people and there’s bound to be more demand for services and businesses,” pharmacy customer Irene Adams said.
In fact, an application is before council for the pharmacy to be extended to include two doctors’ offices.
That is likely to exacerbate the parking issues.