Food trucks and mobile food vendors are to be trialled in Bridgetown following unanimous support by the Shire Council. The most recent Bridgetown-Greenbushes Shire Council meeting voted to suspend its current policy, which opposes the operation of mobile and itinerant traders, to allow a trial for a limited number of mobile food vans to operate in the town. The suspension of the council policy and consequent trial will be from November 1, this year to April 30, 2024, and would have vendors trade at the northern portion of the town square car park on Thursday evenings from 4-8 pm. The choice of location was proposed due to it not being expected to be highly used at the time of the trial, its accessibility to public toilets in the Town Centre and its potential to help activate the area, due to it coinciding with the opening of the relocated town visitor centre at the former Bridgetown railway station. The proposal outlined that a maximum of two parking bays would be available for traders to use on a “first come, first served” basis and that Trading in Public Places permit fees would be waived for the first eight weeks of the trial. The purpose of the fee waiver was to allow vendors the maximum opportunity to take part in the trial and to allow the council to assess the impact of council fees on the viability of the trial. Other requirements included vendors banned from selling alcohol, cigarettes and predominantly beverages, meet existing requirements of food licensing, to provide their own power supply and waste disposal, and the ability for council to revoke or not renew a vendor’s licence over non-compliance. Shire President Jenny Mountford said the idea for the food vendor trial came from the Bridgetown community wanting a more diverse range of food options, while also wanting to not put pressure on local food venues. “The idea behind the food vendors came from the fact we’ve got limited food options at night, and it’s becoming smaller with businesses closing,” she said. “To give the community more diversity in food without challenging local businesses, we decided on opening the vendors for one night a week, which will allow both locals and visitors to try a diverse range of dishes and allow visiting trucks to stop into Bridgetown if they’re travelling.” She also said if the trial is successful, it could lead to expansion of what vendors and participants could attend and the use of the intended location. “We’re really hoping to get good support from vendors and if the trial goes well, we could consider including buskers or even a food market and having local producers, to throw out a few ideas.” The trial will not change the impact on vendors during council-approved events, including Blues at Bridgetown, and will not impact vehicles parked at the approved car park before trading time begins, as noted in the recommendation.