Bridgnorth High Street survey shows trade decrease on first day of controversial closure
The most extensive study to date surveying businesses on Bridgnorth's controversial High Street closure shows almost half saw a decrease in trade on the first day of implementation.
A total of 62 shops and market stalls were surveyed, of which 45 per cent saw a decrease in trade, with 19 per cent reporting a large decrease.
The study, undertaken by Bridgnorth Chamber of Commerce, centres around the first Saturday High Street was closed to vehicles on July 25.
It shows 26 per cent reported a small increase in trade and 29 per cent noticed little change.
The survey also gathered views on how a future pedestrianisation of High Street could affect market stalls and shops.
Of the 62 businesses included in the study, 46 were shops in and around High Street and 16 were market traders.
Taking weather conditions and other factors into account for July 25, shopkeepers were asked how they believed trade would be affected on future Saturdays.
The results show 33 per cent predicted a decrease in trade, of which 23 per cent said would be large. This is opposed to 29 per cent which said it predicted an increase in trade, of which two per cent said would be large.
Lastly, the study also surveyed how traders predict a permanent pedestrianisation of High Street would affect them. It shows 72 per cent said it would decrease their trade, of which nearly half said it would have a large impact – opposed to 11 per cent which said it would increase trade, with 17 per cent predicting little to no change.
The results come as the chamber is continuously meeting with Shropshire Council, Bridgnorth Town Council and traders to discuss the best options moving forward to ensure the safety of shoppers while maximising profit for businesses.
With Shropshire Council expecting to implement the closure on four successive Saturdays in total, the authority will look to reopen the road in coming weeks.
Bridgnorth Chamber of Commerce is suggesting creating a running lane to allow necessary vehicles to access while keeping the road shut, enabling social distancing to continue while alleviating the problems experienced by traders suffering from a lack of nearby customer parking.
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