Cafe owner warns of ‘dire effect’ on trade

Businesses in a north Northumberland village claim that plans to extend double yellow lines would have a negative effect on their trade.

At last month’s meeting of Belford Parish Council, members discussed extending the double yellow lines at the junction of High Street and West Street as well as High Street and Nursery Lane following complaints about safety for motorists and pedestrians.

But two businesses located near the Nursery Lane junction are worried that it will take away parking, already limited in the village, from potential customers.

Joan Young, who has owned the Well House Coffee Shop with Denise Tully for more than six years, said that they knew nothing of the plans until they read about it in the Gazette.

“I think it will have a dire effect on us; one of the few businesses that is on the High Street and has survived the last 15 years,” she said.

“It just would not help us and we feel they should have spoken to us before.”

The pair have launched a petition against the extension of the double yellow lines, which Joan said has had a very positive response, and it has been backed by Phil and Lindsey Nicholson, who run Well House bed and breakfast.

Joan is worried that because there are already double yellow lines on the other side of the road, it will prevent passing trade from being able to stop.

“If you are looking for somewhere to go, if you travel through and there’s nowhere to stop, you go on by and that’s lost business for us,” she said.

“We have a lot of local customers but the jam on the scone, if you like, is the passing trade and that’s what makes you viable.”

As well as launching the petition, she and Denise have also written to parish councillors, pointing out that businesses are struggling to survive in these ‘bleak economic times’, and plan to attend tonight’s meeting of the parish council.

The double yellow lines proposals were discussed during a meeting between councillors, police and Jim Long, from the county council traffic management department, as a result of concerns raised about parked cars limiting visibility for motorists and visibility. A consultation would have to be held before any changes were made.

Joan added: “The junction between West Street and High Street is dreadful but where we are, I don’t think there’s a major problem.”