Cafe business slates ‘unsafe’ car park

Taste cafe employees Martin Smith and Tiffany Eccles in the potholed car park at the Chesil Beach Centre

Taste cafe employees Martin Smith and Tiffany Eccles in the potholed car park at the Chesil Beach Centre

First published in News
Last updated
Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Dorchester reporter

A BUSINESS that just celebrated its first anniversary has hit out at the state of a neighbouring car park.

Todd and Louise Moffat, pictured inset below, opened up the Taste cafe at the Chesil Beach Centre just over 12 months ago.

Work has just started again to resurface the car park at the centre but they had become infuriated at the ‘dangerous’ state it was left in despite regular pleas with council officials, claiming it hampered their efforts to establish a successful business.

Mr Moffat said that in wet weather many of the car parking spaces had been inaccessible and various potholes made it dangerous for people and could cause damage to vehicles.

He said: “There are only a couple of spots accessible if it rains, and the chances are your car will get damaged, also if you have a mobility issue, it’s very dangerous.

“We receive lots of bad comments regarding the car park.”

Mr Moffat said the car park is ‘periodically patched up’ but the impact of that lasts around three months before it is again in a state of disrepair.

He said he has regularly been in touch with Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and West Dorset District Council parking manager Chris Graves to ask for a permanent solution but says his concerns have largely been ignored.

Mr Moffat added: “I’ve proposed that he could waive the parking charge and let people park at the owner’s risk.”

He said something needed to be done about it urgently as we approach the main tourist season.

Mr Moffat said: “Dorset is about to get into a very busy period for visitors and swift action is needed to rectify the problem.”

Cafe manager Martin Smith said he often had customers coming in and complaining about the car park.

He said: “It’s frustrating for us when we are in here working hard trying to build a business.

“People are coming in with possible damage to their cars and saying it’s an absolute state out there.”

Cllr Christine James, brief holder for transport and infrastructure at Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, said: “The borough council had hoped to repair Chesil Beach car park six weeks ago, however the bad weather severely delayed the works. Work to repair and smooth the car park started on Tuesday and is expected to last around three days.

“The borough council has worked on a number of improvements to the car park over recent months, including landscaping.

“We would like to thank everyone for their patience.”

Comments (10)

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11:51am Wed 2 Apr 14

Bollard says...

They seem to be forever flattening this car park out, it would probably be cheaper in the long run to tarmac it.
They seem to be forever flattening this car park out, it would probably be cheaper in the long run to tarmac it. Bollard
  • Score: 18

1:51pm Wed 2 Apr 14

IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE says...

Why should ratepayers subsidise a car park which benefits this business?
Why should ratepayers subsidise a car park which benefits this business? IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE
  • Score: -10

5:14pm Wed 2 Apr 14

seashellbill says...

The council must make a fortune from the charges in what is, to all intents and purposes an area of waste land. No doubt it will be "patched up" rather than doing a proper job!
The council must make a fortune from the charges in what is, to all intents and purposes an area of waste land. No doubt it will be "patched up" rather than doing a proper job! seashellbill
  • Score: 12

5:44pm Wed 2 Apr 14

westbaywonder says...

Out of sight,out of mind,easy to ignore from the offices.
You would not see a car park in this state of dis- repair at the offices.

Think of all the damage it may do to those leased vans that are invisible.LOL
Out of sight,out of mind,easy to ignore from the offices. You would not see a car park in this state of dis- repair at the offices. Think of all the damage it may do to those leased vans that are invisible.LOL westbaywonder
  • Score: 9

5:54pm Wed 2 Apr 14

Rocksalt says...

IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE wrote:
Why should ratepayers subsidise a car park which benefits this business?
As Seashell Bill says, the council charges a significant amount to park there. Irrespective of whether the cafe benefits, the council have a responsibility to provide a decent surface in return for the money they are taking.

In terms of the café, the owners will be paying substantial business rates.
[quote][p][bold]IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE[/bold] wrote: Why should ratepayers subsidise a car park which benefits this business?[/p][/quote]As Seashell Bill says, the council charges a significant amount to park there. Irrespective of whether the cafe benefits, the council have a responsibility to provide a decent surface in return for the money they are taking. In terms of the café, the owners will be paying substantial business rates. Rocksalt
  • Score: 12

7:52pm Wed 2 Apr 14

IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE says...

Rocksalt
Business rates do not go to the council - the government snatches them!
Rocksalt Business rates do not go to the council - the government snatches them! IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE
  • Score: -2

11:37am Thu 3 Apr 14

portlandboy says...

New owners of a business really ought to check the area out before buying rather than hoping to get improvements made after purchase which would most likely be of benefit to their customers and sales.
The Beach Road car-park has never been anything other than a pot-hole ridden gravel area for as long as I can remember, and that is in excess of 40 years. What makes the cafe owners think it has to be changed now?
New owners of a business really ought to check the area out before buying rather than hoping to get improvements made after purchase which would most likely be of benefit to their customers and sales. The Beach Road car-park has never been anything other than a pot-hole ridden gravel area for as long as I can remember, and that is in excess of 40 years. What makes the cafe owners think it has to be changed now? portlandboy
  • Score: -1

11:40am Thu 3 Apr 14

portlandboy says...

...and they should also realise that you cannot level a surface which is only built on moving pebbles.
...and they should also realise that you cannot level a surface which is only built on moving pebbles. portlandboy
  • Score: -1

3:42pm Thu 3 Apr 14

JamesYoung says...

This has been raised before. The Ilchester estate owns the car park and leases it to the council who are not allowed to Tarmac it. This problem has existed for years and certainly predates this business setting up there.
This has been raised before. The Ilchester estate owns the car park and leases it to the council who are not allowed to Tarmac it. This problem has existed for years and certainly predates this business setting up there. JamesYoung
  • Score: 2

5:11pm Thu 3 Apr 14

scubadude says...

Irrespective of cost I refuse to park in that carpark as its not fit for normal road cars, I either walk or cycle to the cafe. If the council spent some money fixing it many more people would park there and pay to do so... you have to spend before you can make money!
In the mean time perhaps the council should consider charging what its worth- very little, rather than their usual over-inflated tourism killing prices?
Irrespective of cost I refuse to park in that carpark as its not fit for normal road cars, I either walk or cycle to the cafe. If the council spent some money fixing it many more people would park there and pay to do so... you have to spend before you can make money! In the mean time perhaps the council should consider charging what its worth- very little, rather than their usual over-inflated tourism killing prices? scubadude
  • Score: 1

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