Calls to re-open Bedford Place in Southampton – Daily Echo

CITY bosses have been urged to re-look at a road scheme amid claims it has turned a busy area of the city intoa zombie apocalypse.

A row has broken out over the temporaryclosure of Bedford Place.

Some traders said the closure was positive and helped businesses.

But other shop owners described the scheme as "a total shambles" and said they are losing customers.

The news comes as the road has been closed since August to allow more outdoor seating and ensure social distancing.

Civic chiefs said the move- which is currently being trialled- will help boost the local economy.

But some business owners are calling for the road to be re-opened as soon as possible.

They claim that while the scheme has helped the hospitality industry, independent shops have been losing customers.

Charles Plant, owner of Charles Plant hairdresser, said he has lost about 1,000 a month since the start of the trial.

He said: People go off the idea of coming down here because it is such a pain. The council have turned Bedford Place into a zombie apocalypse. Its dead. If the council carry on with this scheme they are going to ruin the business of many people.

Simon Beer, fromBridge Gallery, said shop owners have lost the passing trade.

Martin Chant, co-manager at Cloud Wine, added: We have lost customers dramatically because we depend on traffic. I am worried about my job. It is a disaster.

Angela Everett, owner of Trevor Mitchell hairdresser andRachel House, manager at All Beauty, havealso backed calls for the road to re-open.

It is a total shambles it has ruined our businesses,said Ms Everett.

But other traders welcomed the scheme and said they wish it becomes permanent.

Caroline French, managing director of W J French & Son, said: I think we need to grab this opportunity to help Bedford Place reach its full potential, although it will take time to see the best return on this.I havent personally seen a drop in passing trade.

Barbara Harrison, sales manager at Bar Revolution, said the scheme has been positive.

Some businesses such as YOU Massage have also said they have seen an increase in customers.

Phil Linssen, owner of Piecaramba , added: It has helped beyond belief. I wish it would have happened earlier.

John Cooney,owner ofthe Cricketers Arms in Carlton Place, said: "The overwhelming position of Carlton Place traders is one of support for this road closure scheme."

Opposition leaders have joined calls for the road to be re-opened.

Cllr Dan Fitzhenry said: The closure of Bedford Place is not helping the businesses so the council need to listen to those businesses who are affected.

Southampton Itchen MP Royston Smith said the scheme is ridiculous.

But Giles Semper, executive director of Go!Southampton, the Business Improvement District (BID), said he hopes residents and businesses will give the scheme a chance.

He added: Our view is that Bedford Place risks long-term decline and that radical solutions will be needed to keep it as a viable commercial destination. We strongly believe however that the street can be brought back to life and that the closure offers a significant opportunity to start the recovery.It is wrong to blame the closure for a downturn in trade when we are in the middle of a pandemic.

Cllr Steve Leggett, cabinet member for green city and place, said: We understand there are a range of views on the scheme and that some concerns have been raised about the impact on business. We need to look at the whole picture and acknowledge the significant role that Covid-19 itself has had to play in contributing to this. Best practice from other towns and cities has shown that pedestrianisation attracts more custom and, for this reason, We firmly believe that schemes like this have a valuable place in helping to boost our local economy - both throughout the current challenges and potentially in the future, helping to raise the profile of Bedford Place as a unique destination to visit.

Continue reading here:
Calls to re-open Bedford Place in Southampton - Daily Echo

Related Post

Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
This entry was posted in Zombie. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.