A leading transport experts says Gympie's businesses need to start preparing for the bypass now.
A leading transport experts says Gympie's businesses need to start preparing for the bypass now. Renee Albrecht

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.

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"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.”

Dr Bruno Parolin is a leading authority on the impacts of bypasses on Australian towns.
NEW ROUTE: Dr Bruno Parolin says Gympie's businesses should focus on advertising ahead of Section D's opening. Contributed

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.

TRAFFIC CHAOS: The Bruce Highway through Gympie was choked all the way back past Albert Park as Road Works continued on the Bruce Highway upgrade through the city.
The bypass is going to alleviate a lot of traffic problems from the heart of Gympie. Craig Warhurst

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.