Bulli Pass closure could hurt businesses

Bakery blues: Shirley Vu from a bakery in Bulli is concerned about what the upcoming closure of Bulli Pass will mean for business. Picture: Sylvia Liber

Bakery blues: Shirley Vu from a bakery in Bulli is concerned about what the upcoming closure of Bulli Pass will mean for business. Picture: Sylvia Liber

A northern suburbs bakery is hoping to avoid a repeat of the fall in business that came with last year’s Bulli Pass closure.

Shirley Vu, manager of the Black Diamond Bakery and Sandwich Bar on the Princes Highway at Bulli, said “there was quite a bit of a drop” in business during the October-December 2016 closure.

“The extra time needed for people from here going to Sydney, that meant no one had time any more to stop in and get food or anything,” Ms Vu said.

During last year’s closure there were two truck accidents on the M1 Princes Motorway, which saw the emergency re-opening of the pass.

But that sudden influx of traffic past the bakery didn’t make any difference.

READ MORE: Pass closure dates chosen because of low traffic

“When there were accidents on the M1 and they closed that down that affected the front of the shop because the traffic was so jammed up that no one could be bothered to stop,” she said.

“They all just wanted to try and get through as fast as they could.”

Roads and Maritime Services will close the pass again for 10 weeks on Monday, to allow for the completion of the project to install rock fall fencing.

Ms Vu said other businesses in the Bulli CBD felt the effects of the pass closure, as people would stop to pick up something from one store and also visit another while they were there.

For instance, she said people would stop to pick up a coffee at Stokes Lane Cafe and then cross the road to the bakery to buy a cake or a sandwich.

Ms Vu said she was hoping the bakery’s “incredible” cakes and sandwiches would be enough to encourage people to make the effort to stop in.

If they don’t, the closure might force her to cut back on staff for the next 10 weeks.

“We’ll probably have to reduce a few staff members,” she said.

“Now we have three but we’ll probably have to drop down to two because we won’t be as busy as we usually do get.

“Not only that, some of our workers do live out of the area and they’ll have to take even more time to travel to get into work because Bulli Pass will be closed.”

Bulli Pass will be closed from 9am on Monday, August 28 until 3pm on Friday, November 3.

It will temporarily reopen for the October long weekend at 3pm on September 29 and close at 9am on October 3.

Detours during the closure will be via the M1 Princes Motorway and Lawrence Hargrave Drive.

“Detour routes are expected to add between 15 to 30 minutes in travel time and motorists are asked to carefully plan their journeys,” a Roads and Maritime Services spokeswoman said.

The story Bulli Pass closure could hurt businesses first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.

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