‘Bleak future’ predicted for shopping street

Hill Road, Clevedon.

Hill Road, Clevedon. - Credit: Archant

SHOP owners in Clevedon’s Hill Road believe they will be forced to move their businesses if more is not done to solve problem parking in the area.

For years, traders in the street and the neighbouring Alexandra Road have been calling for proper enforcement of the two-hour time limit already in place to ensure customers have a chance to park near the businesses. However, they believe the problem has worsened with vehicles being left in spaces for hours and even days at a time.

Now, the owners of Estuary and Spinning Weal have said they will have to move if trade does not pick up.

After eight years in the road, Jane Brake of Estuary has recently negotiated an opt-out clause in her shop lease.

She said: “There seems to be nobody I can call who will police the road if someone is parked there for so long.

“It is chaotic sometimes because people double park.

“With all the issues we have had over the parking, we are now getting a reputation which means people know they can’t park here. That doesn’t help trade.

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“Cars stay on the road for hours and days at a time.

“We have all seen a big fall in footfall over the past year or so.

“I know if I moved elsewhere I would be a lot busier.

“The business is not sustainable at the current level.

“I love Hill Road with a passion but I just can’t watch my little shop fade away in front of me.”

In a letter written to the Times, Sarah Harris of Spinning Weal said: “Unless the parking issue is addressed I will not be renewing my lease here and will look to move my shop to a place where customers can get to us easily.

“Unless we are working in an environment where people can come to browse and buy without parking and traffic chaos, then the future looks bleak for all our lovely shops.”

Despite repeated calls for more to be done to curb the parking problems in the area, police bosses have said parking is not considered a priority and North Somerset Council had until recently refused to implement a civil parking enforcement (CPE) scheme, which would then see the introduction of traffic wardens.

However, in March the unitary authority announced it would conduct a review into CPE to see if a joint approach with the police could be taken.