Bakery 'losing business' as Derby City Council closes city centre road for weekend revellers
A COUPLE running a Derby bakery say they are losing business because Derby City Council has closed a road to improve weekend revellers' nights out.
Victoria and Tony Jacobs say Baked, in the Strand, has taken a hit after the authority decide to "experimentally" close the street from midnight to 5am on Fridays and Saturdays.
The council says the move was first mooted after the police voiced concerns over safety when "vehicles and pedestrians mix at the entry point of the Wardwick".
David Gartside, head of traffic and transportation, said the council was aiming to "improve the experience" for people visiting the pubs, clubs and bars on the Wardwick.
But Mrs Jacobs said the closure meant Baked was losing business as she and her husband can't park outside. Mrs Jacobs used to start preparing food at 4.30am on Saturdays, the shop's busiest day, but now has to start later as she feels it's unsafe to walk through the city centre in the dark.
She said: "It means I'm coming in after 5am to start work and there's less on offer for customers, so we are losing business."
She added that her husband starts at 3am each day and has to haul the firm's laundry from Friar Gate.
And Mrs Jacobs said she and her husband would not be able to get to the store quickly if an alarm went off.
She said: "I can't understand who it's helping. No drinkers have been hit by traffic at that junction so far. If the council hadn't allowed so many bars to open in such a small space then there would be fewer problems."
The experimental closure was first introduced on Friday, February 15.
Mr Gartside said the council was aware of the problems at Baked but that the closure "protects the wider interests of the public".
He said: "The council is aiming to improve the experience of those people who visit the city centre at night and, in the knowledge that many people visit the pubs, clubs and bars on the Wardwick, the closure will contribute to this."
He said the council had consulted with all those who had an interest in accessing the Strand, adding: "The bakery has made representations to us and we have considered these and discussed them with the police.
"It was determined that we would still proceed with the experiment on the basis that the potential public benefit could outweigh the impact on one individual.
"We have provided advice and guidance to the business holder about how they may still gain access to their premises by parking elsewhere other than on the Strand. We are monitoring, along with the police, the impacts of the experiment.
"We are able to abandon the experiment at any time if we are not satisfied that the expected benefits are being delivered or if we discover that there are problems which cannot be overcome."