The mayor of Merritt is raising safety concerns about the now closed tourist information booth and rest stop at the Coquihalla and Highway 97 interchange.
Neil Menard says exit 286 was a well-known and convenient place for motorists to stop, and despite signage, people continue to try and stop there only to get stuck having to try and turnaround or back out onto the busy highway.
“I did an interview up there not too long ago and a gentleman pulled in there coming from Kelowna. He had a nice motorhome behind him and when he got in there – what was he going to do? Fortunately we were able to get the gate open so he could go in and turn around.”
Menard says one Sunday afternoon he stopped by and saw over 20 vehicles stopped or parked on the exit.
While it has lots of parking and is a great tourist attraction, he says the new info-centre on Voght Street in downtown Merritt isn’t as convenient for travellers to access and isn’t as well used.
Under the BC Liberals the exit 286 info-centre got a one-year extension.
The closure was finalized when the new BC NDP government didn’t grant any further extension.