Bridgnorth pub owners 'seriously considering closing' due to dangerous road

A Shropshire pub may be forced to close its doors as the owners battle with the council over a dangerous road.

Gary Goodlad owns the pub with his partner Kay Gibbons
Gary Goodlad owns the pub with his partner Kay Gibbons

Kay Gibbons and Gary Goodlad run The Swan Inn on the Severn on the B4555 Highley Road, just south of Bridgnorth.

Last month they explained that customers are reluctant to walk to the pub as there is no footpath in either direction. While the pub sits in a 40mph zone, they said motorists routinely drive well above the speed limit as they come down the hill.

This, and the lack of taxis to ferry customers to and from the pub, and the poor bus service, has meant that business has been poor for some time.

This week Kay and Gary confirmed that the situation has not improved.

Kay said: "We are seriously considering closing. We have already given up on the bar and the restaurant.

"Nothing has changed, I am going to lodge a complaint with the council. I think they have had the opportunity to respond. They haven't done anything. They haven't made any contact with us whatsoever."

Kay added that she feels that the situation is 'hopeless' as no contact has been made by Shropshire Council.

Gary and Kay have now decided to close the doors between November until March until they can decide what to do next.

Kay added: "I have tried everything but people cannot get here. We get the occasional enquiry for a booking, but it is just not economically viable. How can you come up with a menu and stock it when you don't know who is coming? It's just a no-go. I am racking my brains here to figure out what else we can do.

"We are so close to town and people can't even walk here and have a drink."

The Swan Inn on Severn near Bridgnorth. Photo: Google

The pub sits on a roughly mile-long stretch of the road with no footpath. The verge has become overgrown which makes people even more reluctant to walk there. The council's vegetation cutting plan is now reactive, so residents have to log issues and then the council attends to them.

However, the issue of the overgrown verge at the Swan Inn was logged on September 24 and we understand that no cutting has taken place on that stretch as yet. For context another stretch on a road to Ludlow was logged on July 7 and is still to be attended.

We contacted Shropshire Council about the issue.

Dave Gradwell, a Shropshire Council traffic engineer, said: “Shropshire Council’s local traffic engineer has been out to visit the site with one of the local councillors for the area. Following the site meeting, it was agreed the council’s highways team would look at some minor signing improvements for this location, as part of our minor works programme for this financial year.

“Unfortunately, due to the budgetary situation over the last few years, the focus for our ITP Capital Works Programme has been in dealing with the highest priority accident cluster sites across the county, which is one of our statutory responsibilities.

"As the B4555 at Knowle Sands is not on our current list of accident cluster sites, we are unable to consider a scheme for any major highway improvements, such as widening the road and constructing a new footway, at the present time.”

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