LACK of parking has emerged as the biggest issue facing the success of the Crawford Street Lifestyle Precinct.
Two months on from the official opening, shop owners have said they are still yet to see patronage bounce back to the same volumes as before the upgrades.
Blooms Chemist pharmacist Shaheed Sahukhan estimated a 40 per cent downturn during street upgrades and said business has only slightly improved.
"I think it'll be a slow road back, there's been a little bit of improvement in terms of the foot traffic but not to the same level as before the road works," he said.
"A lot of people comment that there's not enough parking, they seem to have taken away a lot. The other thing is that they've changed the street so you can't do a right turn into or out of the street."
Mr Sahukhan said some people had resorted to parking on Fallick Lane behind his business while Bells Drycleaning manager Mark Meddings said locals were illegally parking on the private property next to the business.
"[Business] is still the same for us as when the road works were happening, it hasn't picked up. We're probably down 40% on the business we were making before," Mr Meddings said. "Most don't know that we're open and those who do said it's difficult to get into Crawford Street.
"I have noticed we get a lot more cars parking in our private driveway when people collect their pizzas.
"There's a definite need for more parking. Now that they've got the garden beds, it's probably cut out about half a dozen slots which doesn't seem much but it seems to have made a big difference."
A council spoke person said there are the same amount of car park spaces available now as before the upgrades.
The council will also trial six months of car parking at the Crawford Street Bus Zone between the hours of 8.30pm to 6am.
The spoke person also added that there is also a car park situated behind Sam's Warehouse.
Mr Sahukhan and Mr Meddings both hoped things would improve as more businesses moved into the vacant lots on the street.
"I do like the new Crawford Street, I hope when the warmer weather comes it will bring people into town and also when Kmart opens that will also bring people in," Mr Meddings said. "They do need to finish off a few things though, the benches are meant to have mosaics but not all of them have been cemented."
"It hasn't helped us that the shops across the road are vacant, there seems to be a bit of work happening at the back so something might open soon," Mr Sahukhan said.
Ciao Cafe and Cakes manager Ab Guleria said business had picked up slightly with their cakes but the cafe was yet to improve.
He said the business had lodged an application with council for five or six outdoor tables and chairs fitting in with the alfresco dining originally envisioned for the street.
"People have commented that the street looks good but that parking is an issue, a big issue actually," he said.
"More parking is really needed and we need more people to move into the vacant blocks. It would be great to get a market or some more cafes open to attract people into the street."