Nailsea store claims loading bays are affecting trade
PUBLISHED: 13:00 08 March 2018
A Nailsea business owner is appealing for a loading bay outside his shop to be converted back to parking spaces as it is affecting passing trade.
Joe Fordham, who owns John Brown Hardware in High Street, says he has seen footfall drop significantly since the parking bays outside his store were allocated for loading more than a year ago.
Joe says the shops in his road rarely use the loading bay, but claims it is putting a stop to passing trade which local shops rely on.
He said: “The bay takes up about six or seven car parking spaces for loading, but it’s not used for more than about an hour-and-a-half a week.
“We rely on passing trade – about 100 to 300 people a day pop in.
“The loading bay is a restriction to parking outside the shop.
“We weren’t consulted when it (North Somerset Council) changed it.
“It’s been affecting our businesses. If there are no car parking spaces, people just drive off. It’s a big problem for shops like us.”
Mr Fordham believes parking restrictions will put people off visiting Nailsea and more people will travel to shopping malls such as Cribbs Causeway or out-of-town retail parks.
There are other parking bays close to the shop, but they involve crossing a road which Mr Fordham says is dangerous for vulnerable customers.
He is appealing for the loading bay to be removed and parking spaces to be added outside his shop to enable people to use the nearby stores.
He said: “Small businesses contribute so much to the local economy.
“We employ eight people and we pay £15,000 in business rates.
“We’ve been here 60 years and we’ve always supported the people of Nailsea.
“There are hundreds more houses planned for Nailsea, but we need shops too and passing trade keeps us going.
“We’ve got parking restrictions, they’re taking out the library and NatWest is closing – it’s not conducive to good business.
“North Somerset Council should be encouraging small businesses and helping them to stay open.”
Cllr James Tonkin, who represents Nailsea for North Somerset, said he is working towards getting the bays reinstated for parking and is hoping to keep one loading bay.