St Leonards shop owner’s fears that bus lane scheme will kill trade

Jon Cemal, owner of The Catch SUS-180221-154330001
Jon Cemal, owner of The Catch SUS-180221-154330001

A chip shop owner fears his business will go under if plans to build a bus lane outside his premises go ahead.

Jon Cemal, owner of The Catch in Bexhill Road, St Leonards, has added his opposition to the county council scheme to place several lanes along the stretch of the A259.

He said: “I have been here 15 months and have given this shop my life. I feel everything I’ve put into this shop will go down the drain.

“I’m honest and hard-working and this bus lane would practically spell the end of my business. The premises has been a fish and chip shop since the 1950s.

“There has been uproar from many residents about the lanes but the council is pushing ahead with them.”

Jon said 90 per cent of his trade comes from passing traffic, with customers parking in the lay-by outside the shop. He added the lay-by would be lost to the bus lane.

He said: “I’m suffering from sleepless nights now because of this. I feel robbed.”

East Sussex County Council said the lanes in Bexhill Road are needed to improve reliability of bus services in the area.

The bus lanes are believed to cost more than £450,000.

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “The original proposal did include continuing the bus lane westbound towards Harley Shute Road, finishing outside the fish and chip shop.

“However, during the public consultation on the scheme, concerns were raised about the loss of parking that would result, as well as the problems it would cause for traffic having to cross the bus lane to reach the lay-by.

“As a result of this, we amended the plans and removed this section of bus lane from the scheme, so there will be no changes taking place in the vicinity of the chip shop.

“Work on construction of the first section of the bus lane scheme, from Harley Shute Road to the garage at Glyne Gap, will start in spring this year.”