Tuesday 11 May 2021

A wide range of East Yorkshire businesses are celebrating confirmation that they can reopen indoor spaces from next week. We spoke to a wide range of hospitality, entertainment and leisure venues who have remained closed or have found it difficult to trade outside, especially with mixed weather conditions. Many said that despite government support they would struggle to survive if restrictions had continued much longer, and they hoped no more lockdowns would be required. You can read the Prime Minister’s full statement here

In Beverley, some traders were angry at the introduction and large size of a new pedestrianised area in Saturday Market, with the loss of 36 parking bays – more than half of the pay and display spaces in the main square. The area is marked by large flower tubs installed by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council who are also putting in bike racks but no additional public seating – that’s being left to hospitality businesses and only three told us they were applying for licences and this may take several weeks to organise.

Karen Guest of Guest and Philips jewellers told Beverley FM there had only been limited consultation and that additional parking should have been provided elsewhere first. She added that the loss of so many spaces could equate to a reduction of around 100,000 visitors per year, which would be seriously detrimental at a time when many businesses are trying to claw back lockdown losses. A Council spokesperson admitted that they only talked to 27 businesses in person. We’ll have a full report in tomorrow’s Morning Mix between 10am and noon.

Here is the full statement provided to Beverley FM by an East Riding of Yorkshire Council spokesperson:

“The summer 2020 consultation for the trial pedestrianisation of part of Beverley’s Saturday Market was a structured set of three questions, with a diagram, that was designed to initially gauge the perceptions of businesses regarding:

·         space for social distancing

·         in-principal support to the scheme

·         and the size of any intervention.

“Based on the initial consultation, the council has carried out detailed design with further in-depth stakeholder consultation undertaken prior to starting the trial. 

“Further public consultation will be done once the trial scheme is in place. Businesses and residents in the Saturday Market area directly affected by the scheme will be asked to fill out an online questionnaire to give their feedback after the first three months of the trial.

“The general public will also have the opportunity to comment throughout the trial through the Traffic Regulation Order process, and details can be viewed at any time on notices erected on-street, in the Hull Daily Mail newspaper and the council’s website.

“Of the consultation last summer, 27 businesses in the Saturday Market area were consulted in person, while a further five businesses which were unavailable for comment at the time, were sent information and their comments were incorporated when (and if) they responded.

“Within the original time frame, the initial survey results were:

From 28 respondents –

·         27 felt it was ‘a good idea to create more space for pedestrians and social distancing’ (96%)

·         25 gave in-principal support to the scheme, one business expressed they were unsure, and two were against (therefore 93% of those who responded support the scheme)

·         Of those businesses that were in support, seven expressed that a larger area would be preferable, and 20 expressed this was ‘about the right area’.

“In addition, elected Ward members, delegates from two business groups in the town, the Town Council, Civic Society and MP all expressed support for the trial scheme and their comments were taken into consideration.

“In relation to the works currently undertaken for the trial scheme, no disabled, loading or taxi spaces will be lost and 36 pay and display spaces have been removed. Additional cycle parking will be provided as part of the scheme.”

The original press announcement can be viewed here