Businesses in Fore Street worry about ghost town

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  • #4102 Score: 0
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    Fore Street businesses voice fears for future of street’s shops due to pricey car parks

    Businesses in Fore Street have voiced fears over the future of the historic street’s shops – and cited expensive car parking as the reason.

    Carole Emery, owner of the Dress Circle store in Fore Street, said businesses in the area felt they were being forgotten, and not enough was done to encourage shoppers into the town centre.

    The NCP car park in Cox Lane charges £2.10 for one hour, £4.10 for one-to-two hours and £6.60 for two-to-four hours, which, coupled with the relatively small number of spaces with short duration in Fore Street itself, was causing an issue, she said.

    “Some days I sit here and I think I am in a ghost town,” she said.

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    #4103 Score: 0
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    Who goes down Fore St?  SadlY its not The Saints despite the Blackfriars rebranding.

    very angry now, don't like inappropriate censorship,

    #4106 Score: 0
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    It is probably the first rule in retail. Why have a shop somewhere without any footfall?!  It is extremely difficult to get customers to go specifically to you in any volume. The only exception in Fore Street is the post office where people go to avoid the others ones! I rarely go down Tacket Street, Upper Orwell Steet, and Fore Street.

    Fore Street isn’t the town centre in terms of the retail heart. They spent so much effort promoting “The Saints” which doesn’t really do too much better… 4-5x footfall perhaps. It is out of the way!

    I don’t think car parking is particularly an issue as Fore Street is a significant bus route with bus stops serving the road. There are various cheap car parks in range of Fore Street which are not multi-storey! Why would they go to NCP?!

    They are being forgotten as despite the rent and rates being affordable to create a business, they are not easily reachable plus have almost non-existent marketing to attract new customers. I am surprised they are still in business which shows they are sticking a lot of effort in. The benefit of having a retail shop is the frontage acts like an advertisement and invitation for people but that only applies if you have the footfall.

    Ironically, Ben Gummer’s constituency office is bang next door… and despite claiming to help the town centre is obviously not getting involved. The Dress Circle is arguably the best placed shop on the street but doesn’t benefit from the free car parking outside that shops further down have. I shouldn’t criticise business owners too much for taking the plunge as without them we really wouldn’t have any independent businesses, but many must realise there is a difference between getting the finance to make a brick & mortar store a reality with a potential ongoing struggle to break even and having a viable business that can pay for itself and make a profit by having a market of customers willing to buy what you are selling!

    #4108 Score: 0
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    yeah, nothing to do with car parking, its just not somewhere people go, too far out on a limb, you have to more or less cross retail no mans land of Tacket Street or Upper Orwell St to get there, nothing terribly attractive down there, no real draw for any footfall, not much there at all, simple as that.  If you chose yo locate your business there I suspect you chose the wrong place.

    Compare to The Saints; direct connection to the very centre of town, a logical route to walk to the docks, generally a moderately attractive place to be, a varied range of attractive businesses and quite a lot of them, not to mention Cardinal Wolsey and Count wotsisface.

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    But these sort of people expect the council and local MP to spend a lot of money and time to make their business viable.

    I am rather critical why the U-turn away from Turret Lane as the primary link to the waterfront choosing St Peters Street instead (which would have been a nice secondary link). This makes some sense as it was always the walking route into town for the Stoke area of town, so the effort as the indie street is a bit misleading… people really don’t go down there from town in any great number to go into the shops there or even down to the waterfront… much of the pedestrian traffic continues south over Stoke Bridge.

    Turret Lane of course not good in its current configuration but if they kept to plan and reworked the land for the axis switch (i.e. closing the bus station with a relocation) it would be ideal.

    I have been tempted on multiple occasions to have a shop in the town centre but it isn’t viable. I can briefly categorise shops into there groups…
    a) High Street – any main thoroughfare (Westgate Street, Cornhill, Tavern Street, Carr Street, Upper Brook Street,Buttermarket)
    b) Side Street – close but requires signposting – Thoroughfare, High Street, Northgate Street, Queen Street, Princes Street etc.
    c) Outside Town – Tacket Street, Fore Street, Upper Orwell Street, St Matthews Street, Norwich Road etc.

    If you are a significant business which can draw customers in – even through what resembles a ghetto – then Outside Town isn’t a problem at all, for example Coes.

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