VIDEO: Shopkeepers’ petition for fairer trading

Skegness shopkeepers have launched a petition in a bid to increase footfall - and put an end to what they believe is an unfair trading environment.

Market trader Denise Hares wants to bring an end to coaches picking up and dropping off passengers on the promenade. Her petition calls for buses to use the coach park and to stop coaches using Sandbeck Avenue as a short cut.

Barry Robinson of Lite Bite

Barry Robinson of Lite Bite

She is supported by several other businesses in the town. These include The Owl Coffee Shop, Oliver Twist, Midas Jewellery, The Model Shop, Nicola’s Nursery World, Cutting Crew and Lite Bites.

There is also a Facebook Page for supporters.

Denise said: “The petition is to give shop traders a better chance of footfall because the way it is now the shops on the High Street and Lumley Road are having their businesses jeopardised and face risk of closure because the lack of possible customers coming to the town on day trip coaches being dropped off and collected from the promenade.

“If all these coaches dropped off and collected from the designated coach park it would give all traders of the town a fair chance instead of just those on the promenade.”

She added: “Stopping these coaches from using this as a drop off and collection point would make no difference whatsoever to the traders along the promenade as the tourist always go along there any way as it is part of coming to the coast.

“Also the coaches need to be stopped from using Sandbeck Avenue as a short cut as they are totally ruining the road surface down there because of the weight of these buses using this residential road.”

Barry Robinson, of Lite Bites, on Roman Bank, said that from his experience business was down by at least 30 per cent because of coaches not using the coach park.

He said: “It’s the seafront that’s getting the business now the people are not coming into the town - they seem to be staying on the seafront and not coming into the smaller shops any more.”

He added: “If it carries on I could go out of business in two years. I’m new to business in Skeg but I am born and bred here and I can see the difference this does make.”

County councillor Richard Davies, executive member for highways and transportation, said the matter would be looked into.

He said: “I appreciate the concerns that have been raised, and I can certainly see how this proposal could benefit local traders. However, we need to have a thorough understanding of what effect such a change would have on the town, and we have to consider the views of our visitors, many of whom are elderly, and may not feel the same way.

“There may be also alternative ways of encouraging tourists to visit these shops which we haven’t considered, such as launching an advertising campaign.

“Over the coming months we will investigate these proposals further so we fully understand what the potential consequences would be for the town, and report back with our findings.”