Tallangatta resident and historian Ray Crispin says the town is being bypassed due to Towong Council’s trial-and-error of new intersection layouts.
Sandbags and concrete barriers are erected at each end of Towong Street, in a try-out of three scenarios before a permanent plan for the main street is locked in.
Mr Crispin said there was a major problem with the temporary intersection at Elizabeth and Towong Streets.
“The biggest problem for us is it’s affecting our service station,” he said.
“Their fuel sales have gone down around 5000 litres a week since it was put there.
“Some of that is seasonal, but it’s still a long way down on what it should be.”
Mr Crispin said access was restricted to the service station for larger vehicles – they had to U-turn further down Towong Street rather than drive straight in, restricting access to petrol pumps.
“A logging truck fellow used to come in and he stopped in a couple weeks ago at the fish and chip shop,” he said.
“He said you’ll notice I haven’t been in lately – we can’t get in, so we don’t stop in town anymore.
“He has to fill on the driver’s side, like a lot of bigger vehicles.
“That’s a vehicle that bypasses the town because of access to a service station.
“Council has changed it a couple times but access is still a problem.”
Towong Mayor David Wortmann said the current layout was one of three trials for traffic management and all feedback was being considered.
“We met with school bus drivers who had concerns,” he said.
“There’s still access but they have to fill from the other side of the bus which has been an inconvenience ... we have a longer hose for this trial.
“We’ve been working very closely with proprietors of the Caltex and we’ve kept them informed.
“I know they’re not happy with this configuration and we’re taking on board that feedback.”
Cr Wortmann said the next layout would be an intersection, more similar to the original layout.
“We’re getting positive feedback on both trials and some who don’t agree with it, but that’s the whole point of the trial,” he said.
“This council goes into caretaker mode this week so (the permanent layout) will probably be a decision for the new council.
“Destination Tallangatta is such a huge project and this is just one part of it.”