'People won't pay to shop', says Bishopston trader

June 04 2013

The trader behind the posters adorning shop windows on Gloucester Road, depicting a parking meter dressed as notorious highwayman Dick Turpin, has confirmed that he is expanding his business outside of Bristol because of the proposed parking scheme.

The trader behind the posters adorning shop windows on Gloucester Road, depicting a parking meter dressed as notorious highwayman Dick Turpin, has confirmed that he is expanding his business outside of Bristol because of the proposed parking scheme. Tom Murray
Tom Murray, owner of the butchers T & PA Murray, believes that if the residents’ parking zone was to roll out across Bristol, there will be a maximum five to 10-year life span for Gloucester Road.
Mr Murray states that it is “set in stone” about investing in Portishead rather than expanding his business in Bristol. However, T & P A Murray on Gloucester Road will still remain.
Starting his business in Bristol around 20 years ago, Mr Murray states: “The community was great. There was great footfall and growth on Gloucester Road.
“Now I can't see many wanting to start up here. If you were a businessman coming into Bristol, you’d be very hesitant.
“If people have to pay to shop, they won’t come. It’s simple for people to get here in a cost-effective way.
“There's a good mix of shops, which encourages people to the road. The high street is a part of Bristol’s economic success.”
Mr Murray believes that problems on Gloucester Road began when Bristol City Council introduced the bus lane around 10 years ago. He claims that he lost two and a half hours’ trade in both the morning and evening, and states that the business hasn’t been able to grow since because of the loss of hours.
“What do we get for the rates we pay?” he asks. “A bus lane we didn’t want and now the RPZ.”
The implementation of the RPZ is an anti-car lobby, Mr Murray claims. “They just want to get rid of cars – the practicality of it they haven't thought through.
“While I might agree that cycling is better for health, and that congestion and pollution are an issue, we still need cars.
“The scheme will be penalising the people who drive in the city such as teachers, doctors, nurses and professionals.”
He told Bishopstonvoice: “Consultation is a democratic process, choosing the majority over the minority. I think we need to lobby MPs about how this consultation has taken place.
“[Bristol Mayor] George Ferguson says that there has been plenty of consultation, but show us what consultation has been had?
“He claims that it has worked in other areas, but where is the evidence? They should have taken it forward once they have enough evidence to do so.
“People cannot be subject to change, if they don't know what the change is that’s going to be taking place.”