Traders detail how dilapidated hotel has hit trade as crumbling building is made safe
Business owners have welcomed the news that a council has promised to make safe a dilapidated hotel that has led to a popular shopping street being closed.
But traders in St Mary’s Street, Newport, which has been closed to traffic due to the poor state of repair of the Royal Victoria Hotel, have urged Telford & Wrekin Council to fix the hotel as soon as possible.
On Thursday, Telford & Wrekin Council said it would make the listed hotel safe after the owner failed to meet a deadline set by Telford Magistrates’ Court.
The building is in such a state of disrepair that St Mary’s Street was closed to traffic last month when an “exclusion zone” was set up around the hotel amid health and safety fears.
Bernard Beech, who runs Gilby’s Antiques, Vintage, Retro and Collectibles in St Mary’s Street, said the road closure has lost him nearly three quarters of his trade.
“My footfall in the last three weeks has been 70 per cent down than normal,” he said.
“There are 40 car parking spaces outside with a 40-minute limit, so that is 300 cars every day that are no longer stopping in the street.
“Yes, I am relieved the council is going to act, but I’ll believe it when I see it. This has been dragging on for too long. It needs to be sorted before Easter as that is when the town gets busy.”
Jacko Lock, who runs restaurant Wok ‘n Roll also in St Mary’s Street, added: “I’ll be very relieved when this is sorted out. There is nowhere for customers to park so they have not been coming in. I’d say we have lost around 30 per cent of trade the last few weeks,
“If Telford & Wrekin do sort this out, I’ll be a very happy man.”
Thomas Peach, owner of Sluice Juice in St Mary’s Street, took to Facebook earlier this week and recorded a video to lament the road closure that he said has cost him 50 per cent of his monthly takings.
He said: “As we come towards the end of the month about 50 per cent of our profit has gone and in this current climate that’s a hell of a lot.
“Any lost sale is important now. We don’t know how long the blockade is going on – for how long can you go with 50 per cent less earnings?”