Portsmouth cafe owner says city centre gate has hit takings

BARRIER Philip Allison, manager of Fagins cafe in Charlotte Street
BARRIER Philip Allison, manager of Fagins cafe in Charlotte Street
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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CITY leaders are to rethink a new gate put into Portsmouth city centre after a cafe owner claimed it was costing him money.

Philip Allison, manager of Fagins cafe, Charlotte Street, says he has lost thousands of pounds since the city council replaced bollards with the new structure in Charlotte Street, where it meets Commercial Road.

The 56-year-old said the gate puts people off visiting Fagins.

Mr Allison said: ‘Just before Christmas last year the city council put a gate across Charlotte Street to stop cars going through and parking in the precinct. There used to be bollards there, but too many times they were down.

‘Then without consultation, the council replaced them with a gate – this has had a negative impact on my business.

‘Since Christmas my takings have been down by £700 to £1,000 a week.

‘Saturday is normally my busiest day and I normally take £800 to £1,000. But since the gates went up they have gone down to around £560.

‘I’ve been watching shoppers walk towards the cafe and then turn back.

‘People look and think the road is closed and they go through the back entrance of Cascades. You can put bollards up to stop cars parking, but the gate needs to come off.’

Portsmouth City Council admits it did not consult traders about putting in the gate, which cost £750.

City centre manager Barry Walker said the council was now looking into the cost of having bollards again.

He said: ‘The bollards were fixed down by plates and these were getting repeatedly damaged. This is why we decided to replace them with a gate. The pavements have always been, and are, still open to the pedestrians.

‘I don’t want Fagins to be losing money over this and so I have said I will find out how much it will cost to have bollards again, but they are likely to be more expensive.

‘If I have enough funds to allocate for this then I might, but at the moment I do not know. The gates may distract people from the cafe, I can’t argue that one way or another.’