Bypass expert reveals what Gympie needs to do to get ready
THE Gympie bypass may still be three years away but one of Australia's leading transport experts said businesses need to know how they will handle the change now.
Dr Bruno Parolin has been studying the effects of bypasses on towns for several years, and his research shows how businesses can best survive.
Of those that closed once the traffic was turned away, he said there was a consistent finding.
"Those businesses that experienced a downturn or even closure... were the ones who generally failed to plan to adapt to the anticipated changes in trade.”
The principal of Tran-Stat Research International said there were lessons learnt from the bypasses built around the New South Wales towns of Kempsey, Berrima and Karuah.
He said there were job losses and a downturn in Karuah.
"Businesses had not been advertising even one year after the bypass opened,” DrParolin said.
At Kempsey, his research showed increased promotion and advertising, diversified product lines and reduced opening and closing times were the biggest changes businesses reported making within 11 months after the bypass opened.
A follow-up three years later further highlighted the need to boost advertising.
Dr Parolin said it this was not only done through the obvious channels like newspapers, flyers and online.
Sponsor deals with local sports teams, on public transport or in shopping centres were other avenues available.
An increased internet presence was also key.
"The aim here is to attract more locals to your business to replace the through stopping traffic that will very likely use the new bypass and spend their highway-related dollars at locations further north or south of Gympie,” he said.