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Brewer to shun York due to bridge closure
A CHAMPION brewer is pulling out of York after its delivery truck was stung with a £30 fine for crossing Lendal Bridge.
Garry Fawson, managing director of Mordue Brewery in North Shields, was delivering to York Beer and Cider Festival on Friday, September 13, and drove down the A19 and across Lendal Bridge as normal.
It was only two weeks later when a fine notice arrived at the brewery that he heard about the new traffic restrictions.
“I followed my satnav but there were no signs about restrictions, no alternative routes, and my satnav knew nothing about them either.
“I am trying to run a business but this feels like they are impeding my business.”
He called the restrictions a “revenue raising exercise” and said: “If it was genuinely about improving traffic flow there would be enormous signs explaining it to visitors.”
Mr Fawson has now decided to stop coming to York with Mordue’s beers, which include Workie Ticket bitter, a former Champion Beer of Britain, and Kill Switch 51, which won gold in the specialist category at the York festival.
He said he will contact the wholesalers who sell his beers in the city to warn them.
“We are not going to come back until this is sorted out. I really apologise to the public because I know we get a lot of interest from York, but this just makes us feel like we are not wanted there.”
Although he has appealed the £30 fine, Mr Fawson said he doesn’t expect to win.
“York has always been a difficult city to deliver to because it is so tourist orientated and there are so many pedestrian zones. But we deliver to a lot of heritage sites - we go to Edinburgh and have no trouble getting in there. Even London is easier because there are big signs telling you where to go,” he added.
City of York Council reiterated comments issued previously issued by Darren Richardson, director of city and environmental services. He said delivery, loading and unloading hours were unaffected by the Lendal Bridge trial and were in line with existing footstreet hours of 10.30am to 5pm.
He said a comprehensive and DfT-compliant set of signs were installed to inform drivers of the restriction, including timings and the use of cameras.
He said: “In addition, 34 AA advisory signs have been installed on the Inner Ring Road and key radials providing access into the city centre, both inside and outside of the Outer Ring Road. Following public feedback during the first few weeks of the trial, a further 18 AA advisory signs carrying more specific detail will be installed from early October, all of which are additional signs put in place to help all road users.”
She said a map showing signs was online and said Visit York had also asked all its members to advise their customers of the restrictions.
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