Community food and drink delivery business says new road restrictions will force closure

Chris and Kim say they will be forced to shut the business

Owners of a cut price food and drink delivery business say proposals for new road markings in Eaton Road, Margate, will force them to shut down,

Chris and Kim Gadd have run Gadd’s food and drink online shop from the Eaton Road site for the past five years. There are already yellow lines outside the property but this has not previously stopped them from loading and unloading outside.

But the new traffic order proposal would prohibit loading and unloading on either side of the road from the junction of Grosvenor Hill to the boundary of 42-44 Eaton Road. Gadd’s falls in the middle of this area.

If enforced it would mean staff have to walk up to 140 delivery trays some 100 metres along the road to the nearest parking bay.

Dad-of-two Chris said: “The law on yellow lines means anyone loading or unloading, or using a blue badge, is allowed to park there. This is how we are able to park and unload the stock and load the orders into the van.

“We have been here for five years and have always done it this way. The proposal is to put dashes on the pavement which stop any blue badge and loading and unloading. This is absolutely absurd.

“It would not just affect us, the only commercial premises on the road, but also residents at four properties who are all disabled and rely on mobility scooters and wheelchairs to get around. One is also registered partly sighted and all the residents have a blue badge.

“We run on extremely small profits for our items, which cover all the outgoings. There is no money left at the end of the month so myself and Kim do not take a wage. We are lucky that we both work for Vaparettes and get our income this way.

“We run this business to help the local community obtain cheap goods. They can get branded goods at the same price or cheaper than the basic brands. We also employ people from the local community, our two staff live in Thanet.

“If this proposal is agreed, it means we will not be allowed to park outside to unload or load and this will result in us not renewing the tenancy in July and we will close. There are no suitable buildings in our price bracket anywhere in Thanet so we would be unable to move somewhere else. This will also cost a lot of money which we do not have.”

The couple, who have also donated to isle causes such as Our Kitchen, the children’s Rainbow Ward and the maternity at QEQM and St Paul’s Church foodlink in Cliftonville, say they are now writing to county councillor Barry Lewis and district councillor Rob Yates to plea for help.

Chris added: “There have only been two accidents on that stretch of road since we have been there and both times we were not there, so we were not an influence in any way to the accidents, However, both times our CCTV helped determine what happened.”

The document of new road order proposals says: “Kent County Council, as traffic authority, has made the above named order a) to introduce waiting restrictions in selected locations for safety or environmental reasons or to preserve access to premises; b) to remove redundant waiting restrictions; c) to make the road safer for all users.”

Consultation on all the road amendments in the document runs until midday on May 26. Comments can be made by emailing car.parking@thanet.gov.uk

For the Eaton Road proposal put amendment number 2: order 2019 in the subject line.

The full document can be viewed here

Kent and Thanet councils have been asked for comment.