Landlord's fears for pub in flood aftermath

A STRUGGLING pub landlord says he fears the aftermath of the Sheffield floods could be about to call time on his family business.

Tuesday, 2nd October 2007, 9:18 am
Updated Friday, 5th October 2007, 9:14 am

Roger Emmott's pub The Middlewood Tavern lies immediately south of where the landslip-hit A6102 collapsed during the June floods.

Today he said he is worried he could be "finished" by Christmas because of a lack of passing trade on the partially-closed Middlewood Road North.

And Sheffield Ceramics tiling centre, also on Middlewood Road near the tram terminus, has already had to lay off one member of staff after business slumped by 15 per cent.

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Traders feel things can only get worse as it could be another year before the road is reconstructed - and are calling on Sheffield Council to install signs informing motorists their businesses are still open.

Mr Emmott, who runs the pub with his family, said: "There is no business. People aren't prepared to walk and there are no buses. Motorists don't know we're still open and that they can still drive here.

"When the road was open 500 cars an hour used to pass this place and 95 per cent of our business was passing trade. I have asked if my insurance will cover the losses but, if I am refused, I'll be finished by Christmas."

Although the route is going to be shut for such a long time, Mr Emmott claimed a request for signs to be erected with diversion notices saying the pub is still open have so far been rejected by the council.

He claimed that even some delivery drivers did not know they could reach the pub because of the road closure - even though the road is not blocked until after his car park entrance.

Hillsborough MP Angela Smith, who called into the pub for a drink on a visit to the landslip, is supporting his plea.

She said: "This landlord has been put in a difficult position through no-one's fault and I am writing to the council for approval to be given for him to be able to advertise his business.

"I'd like to encourage local people to patronise the pub because it's business as usual."

Sheffield Ceramics owner Fiona Pemberton said: "People don't know we're here because diversion signs send you up the A61 - and we are not getting any passing trade.

"We are depending on our regular customers, who know we are here. Business is down 15 per cent and we had to let one of the guys go. We are very worried about the future. People need to know we are still open."

John Charlton, director of Sheffield Council's Street Force service, said: "We have a great deal of sympathy for businesses and residents affected by the flooding in June.

"We will discuss the possibility of local signs with the proprietor of The Middlewood Tavern and also highlight on the council's website that businesses along Middlewood Road North are still open, and continue to remind residents about this at public meetings."

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