The Grim Reaper appeared in Hanham High Street this week as it was announced that another shop is to close.
The Cat Flap, which supports Bristol’s League for Cats, will close in March, blaming the lack of parking for customers and people dropping off donations.
Last autumn Hanham Eyecare closed, also saying its customers could not find anywhere to park.
Traders gathered with the Grim Reaper outside The Cat Flap on Monday to highlight how bad trading has become since Hanham Community Centre enforced its private car park status last year. The trustees have said they acted to protect their patrons.
Among the traders who gathered to talk to us was Julie Rice, who runs Katwalk Kids. She says trade has dipped since the parking ban and there are days when she does not take anything. She is considering closing the shop and just selling online.
Meanwhile Aphrodite’s salon has started a petition highlighting the parking problem. In just three days, 41 customers had signed it, saying they have had problems finding somewhere to park.
Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore has been in discussion with Tesco, which has permission to build a store on the old Kleeneze site, to see if people can park there. No work has started on the store yet.
He said this week: “I have been on the phone several times to their corporate affairs manager for the South West. I have been told Tesco are keen to help and are investigating the possibility of around 20-30 spaces on the Kleeneze site, subject to any permissions and costs. I hope we can get the parking spaces in place as soon as possible.”
Richard McKenzie, company secretary of The Aerial Man, who borrowed the Grim Reaper outfit from fancy dress shop Harlequin, said that one idea traders had to increase the number of parking spaces was to ask South Glos Council to re-plan Laburnum Road car park. He said there was wasted space there, where recycling bins used to be.