HAMILTON’s Chamber of Commerce is calling for the city’s buses to return to Beaumont Street after reports of a 10 to 15 per cent drop in trade along the popular strip.
Chamber president Nathan Errington said feedback from local businesses had sparked their push for a bus system “that fits the needs of the community”.
The chamber on Monday handed a 1000-signature petition to Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp asking for a state review of the Keolis Downer bus system.
“As business people we understand that bus systems must also be operationally viable,” Mr Errington said.
“We know that the previous bus system was not feasible or appropriate, but we also know from the amount of feedback and public comment that the new system is no better.”
Mr Errington said many older customers said they now went to Marketown in Newcastle West instead of the Hamilton strip because it had become more accessible by public transport.
“We are supportive of other business centres doing well, but not at the expense of others,” he said.
“The issue is that a new system has been put in place with limited community input and before other pieces of critical infrastructure are complete, or the culture of transport in the region has been shifted.”
Comment has been sought from Keolis Downer.