Angie and Roger Booth from Valu4U said goodbye to their loyal customers today (Thursday), as they opened the doors of their 22 year old business in East Cowes for the last time.
The demise of their business – which included the Tourist Visitor Point – is being directly blamed on the impact of the new Cowes floating bridge (No.6).
Business has been “decimated”
Laura Trant from BBC South Today was in East Cowes this morning to interview Angie and others.
In a special for today’s programme, Angie explained to Laura how her business had been profitable for the first 21 years, but has been decimated since Floating Bridge 5 was taken out of service in January 2017.
Angie said the new floating bridge was supposed to improve the economy, but that people don’t have the confidence in the bridge anymore and footfall has fallen considerably.
The Isle of Wight council told the BBC there had been 86,000 foot passengers on the bridge since 11 December, but Angie argued the figures are well below those predicted.
Looking “into a black hole”
A not-surprisingly tearful Angie, told Laura that she wished the council would go to East Cowes to speak to businesses there.
Having spent all their savings trying to keep the business going over the last year, Angie finished by saying her future was “looking into a black hole” as she and her husband were would now have to look for full time work.
You can see the full report in tonight’s show (BBC1 from 6.30pm) or watch on iPlayer a short while after the programme airs. (Lunchtime programme here – 3.13 mins in).