Worksop: Shopkeeper fears business on Hardy Street will be left deserted
A Worksop business fears it will be cut off from the town when some nearby bus stops are removed.
The Your Stop ‘n’ Shop, on Hardy Street, is the only retail store on the road and the owners are concerned their custom will decrease.
Bus stops on Hardy Street and Ryton Street in the town will be taken away once work on the new bus station is complete.
Owner, John Jewitt, said: “I fear that we will be forced out.”
“We always see people in the shop with their bags of shopping from Iceland, Wilkinson’s and B&M. We consider the new bus station to be too far away from the Priory Centre particularly for the elderly carrying their shopping.”
“We open at 7.30am in the morning but who is going to be on Hardy Street at that time in the morning?”
“The footfall will decrease which may have an adverse effect on the business, the answer would be to move location but rent and rate costs are too high in the Bridge Street area.”
“We understand that Worksop needs a new bus station but we don’t want it to be at the detriment of our business.”
Mr Jewitt, of Blyth, has owned the business for over two years with his wife Marina and he says the town is in a sorry state.
“It is a worrying for the area,” Mr Jewitt said.
“We are one of the last little shops.”
“There are a lot of empty shops in the town.”
“We cannot see the economy improving, we are just bumping along.”
The 63-year-old, who also works for Royal Voluntary Service at Bassetlaw Hospital, also had strong words for Notts County Council.
He added: “We all agreed that the town needed a bus station and we gave our support.”
“Since confirmation of the new bus station we feel abandoned, neither Notts County Council or Bassetlaw Council have thought about the future of Hardy Street.”
“But now they have got what they want they don’t want to know.”
“It would be a good idea if Notts County Council or Bassetlaw Council held a forum with small businesses to seee what we can do about our town centre to help improve the shopping experience that should be available to sustain the local businesses.”
In response to the concerns made by Mr Jewitt, the Guardian contacted Notts County Council.
Coun Kevin Greaves, chairman of the county council’s transport and highways committe, said: “The county council is investing £3.2m in Worksop’s new bus station – something which the town has been in desperate need of for many years.”
“As well as encouraging more people to use public transport, the new bus station will provide much-improved accessibility to the town centre and be a major boost to the economy of the town as a whole, making it a more attractive place to work, shop and do business.”
“Our experience in other towns where we have built new bus stations, such as Retford and Mansfield, is that they encourage more visitors - and that will be good news for everyone.”
“In Retford, for example, passenger numbers went up a quarter of a million within the first five years of it opening.”