South Shields traders fear for future of businesses at The Nook amid controversial plans to remove loading bay

Traders are fearing for the future of their businesses amid proposals to remove a loading bay which they use for delivery of their stock.

The move would see the loading bay on the junction between Sunderland Road and South Avenue at The Nook in South Shields, removed to provide access for designated parking.

However, traders say it would leave delivery wagons, some of which are up to 38ft long, with nowhere to stop, other than to park illegally and cause congestion in Sunderland Road.

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Graham Houghton, 64, who owns Budget Pet Supplies and has been trading at the Nook for 15 years, said: “Other than parking in the bus stop, which is illegal, there’s going to be nowhere for the delivery vehicles to park.

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"I get a wagon delivery on Monday and Friday, which normally takes about 15 minutes, as well as transit deliveries throughout the week.

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"If they remove the bay then there is no way I can get stock into my shop and it’s the same for other businesses on the road.

"If we can’t get stock then we can’t make revenue. I’m really anxious about what is going to happen and fear for the future of my business.”

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Publican Charlotte Bell and Budget Pet Supplies owner Graham Houghton at the loading bay they currently use to receive their stock.

Business neighbour Charlotte Bell, 72, who owns Harley’s Bar, said her brewery supplier has already told her they won’t be able to deliver if the bay is removed.

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She said: “I get deliveries four times a week. If the council remove the loading bay then they won’t deliver to the pub and we obviously can’t function without beer deliveries.

"I’m really stressed about this proposal as we are still in the process of recovering from being closed during the pandemic and with energy bills going up, this is the last thing we need.

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“There’s also a school close by and you really don’t want delivery wagons reversing in and out of nearby streets when there are children about."

Graham Houghton says he will have no way of receiving stock if the bay is removed.
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It’s a sentiment shared by Joe Chisholm who manages the Mobility Direct shop.

Joe, 68, said: “I take deliveries four or five times a week. It’s often large items like mobility scooters and chairs which aren’t practical to carry long distances. If I can’t get deliveries then I can’t sell products.

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“It will also make it difficult for me to send out items to be delivered to customers.”

He added: “My message to the council would be to leave the loading bay where it is.”

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Harley's Bar owner Charlotte Bell is "stressed" out by the proposal.
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South Tyneside Council confirmed it is considering removing the loading bay to help alleviate parking problems, but stressed it is just a proposal and urged anyone with concerns to express their views as part of an official consultation.

A spokesperson said: “The council is currently consulting on proposals to help address parking and safety concerns raised by local residents in this busy commercial area.

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“One of the proposals includes changing the road layout at the eastern end of South Avenue by removing the loading bay on Sunderland Road to create some short stay parking provision.

“All feedback will be considered as part of the informal consultation process.”

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The council said the proposal came after residents of South Avenue complained about congestion, with allocated off-street parking spaces taken by shoppers.

The proposal would see the removal of the loading bay to create short stay parking bays, along with bollards blocking off access to South Avenue and an extension of the no-waiting restriction along the northern kerb line of the street.

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Anyone who wishes to have their say on the proposal should email the council at [email protected]