Fears over future of 140-year-old shop due to £12m Horseshoe Common complex

Bournemouth Echo: UNCERTAIN FUTURE: James Rhodes, left, group manager of GE Bridge with Michael Carlili, shop manager UNCERTAIN FUTURE: James Rhodes, left, group manager of GE Bridge with Michael Carlili, shop manager

BOSSES at one of Bournemouth’s oldest shops fear an uncertain future because of changes to the roads around the town’s Horseshoe Common.

GE Bridge, which supplies medical and mobility equipment, has been in the town since 1876.

But its owners believe business could be hit by an improvement scheme being carried out in conjunction with the development of the £12million Citrus Building nearby.

The development involves reclaiming a large part of the road for pedestrians.

The shop has lost its goods vehicle access, which is being replaced with a smaller loading bay on the opposite side of the road.

Nearby parking for people with disabilities is being replaced with two spaces in front of the shop.

Group manager James Rhodes said of the scheme: “It’s going to look lovely but the extent of it was a bit of a shock. It was going to limit the access to our shop.”

He was concerned that the loading bay and disabled parking would not be available for their intended users.

“We know it’s going to be used for parking by estate agents and whoever else is here,” he said.

He added: “We’ve been in the town for 140 years nearly. The last thing we want is to move out of the town centre but if access is that limited then we’d have no choice but to consider what to do.”

But Cllr Michael Filer, ward councillor and Bournemouth council’s cabinet member for transport, defended the scheme.

He said the project would keep most of the parking that runs along the top 100 yards of Old Christchurch Road.

“That’s still going to continue except at the very top immediately outside Bridge’s,” he said.

“As far as Bridge’s are concerned, for them to have disabled bays right outside their front door couldn’t be better.

“The one purpose of this current work at Horseshoe Common is to promote the area. The last thing we want for the shops at the top of Old Christchurch Road is to do anything that’s not going to improve it.

“If anything there are going to be more facilities for his particular shop.

“The business has been part of the town for over 100 years and we want to it to continue and be supported and helped.”

GE Bridge was founded as a pharmacy. Its original owner, George Edward Bridge, became the town’s mayor in 1907-09 and sponsored Bournemouth’s first air show in 1910.

Comments (22)

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7:19am Tue 27 May 14

billy bumble says...

When I read the headline I sat up thinking this was involving a 140 year old building

No - nothing of the sort

A thriving business which is slightly inconvenienced - so they think all development must stop

So move somewhere else - you may find that business is better there
When I read the headline I sat up thinking this was involving a 140 year old building No - nothing of the sort A thriving business which is slightly inconvenienced - so they think all development must stop So move somewhere else - you may find that business is better there billy bumble
  • Score: -33

7:27am Tue 27 May 14

arthur1948 says...

Conservatives conserve nothing
Conservatives conserve nothing arthur1948
  • Score: 13

7:52am Tue 27 May 14

djd says...

The disabled parking bays can be used by anyone who is disabled and displaying a blue badge so they won't be just for Bridge's clients.
The disabled parking bays can be used by anyone who is disabled and displaying a blue badge so they won't be just for Bridge's clients. djd
  • Score: 41

8:28am Tue 27 May 14

simnic says...

who cares...it's called progress
who cares...it's called progress simnic
  • Score: -44

8:32am Tue 27 May 14

Azphreal says...

At least they finally admit its about tarting the place up for the new building.
At least they finally admit its about tarting the place up for the new building. Azphreal
  • Score: 14

8:35am Tue 27 May 14

Azphreal says...

How many disabled parking places were there before all of this?
How many disabled parking places were there before all of this? Azphreal
  • Score: 11

8:40am Tue 27 May 14

Tom_BH2 says...

Move to Crhristchurch - Surely a more suited consumer range there?
Move to Crhristchurch - Surely a more suited consumer range there? Tom_BH2
  • Score: -15

9:12am Tue 27 May 14

pete woodley says...

No thought at all for a well established shop catering for the disabled.Some of the stupid comments on this, just show complete lack of respect,and are really childish.Obviously from idiots who have not tied to run a business.
No thought at all for a well established shop catering for the disabled.Some of the stupid comments on this, just show complete lack of respect,and are really childish.Obviously from idiots who have not tied to run a business. pete woodley
  • Score: 36

9:31am Tue 27 May 14

Glashen says...

Best thing now that the council have pushed on with this plan, against the advice of many is that they get it finished quickly, it is hard to believe how long it takes for the council's contractors to lay some pavers. Could I also make a plea to the clot Filer that the council keep the businesses that operate in the town centre including the taxis etc informed about what they are doing, there is such a thing as email and the internet you know. Over the weekend roads, car parks and taxi ranks were closed how many businesses knew what would be closed and when.
Best thing now that the council have pushed on with this plan, against the advice of many is that they get it finished quickly, it is hard to believe how long it takes for the council's contractors to lay some pavers. Could I also make a plea to the clot Filer that the council keep the businesses that operate in the town centre including the taxis etc informed about what they are doing, there is such a thing as email and the internet you know. Over the weekend roads, car parks and taxi ranks were closed how many businesses knew what would be closed and when. Glashen
  • Score: 13

9:33am Tue 27 May 14

Glashen says...

Glashen wrote:
Best thing now that the council have pushed on with this plan, against the advice of many is that they get it finished quickly, it is hard to believe how long it takes for the council's contractors to lay some pavers. Could I also make a plea to the clot Filer that the council keep the businesses that operate in the town centre including the taxis etc informed about what they are doing, there is such a thing as email and the internet you know. Over the weekend roads, car parks and taxi ranks were closed how many businesses knew what would be closed and when.
I have to apologise to councillor filer I didn't mean to insult him but my predictive text did it for me, sorry about that.
[quote][p][bold]Glashen[/bold] wrote: Best thing now that the council have pushed on with this plan, against the advice of many is that they get it finished quickly, it is hard to believe how long it takes for the council's contractors to lay some pavers. Could I also make a plea to the clot Filer that the council keep the businesses that operate in the town centre including the taxis etc informed about what they are doing, there is such a thing as email and the internet you know. Over the weekend roads, car parks and taxi ranks were closed how many businesses knew what would be closed and when.[/p][/quote]I have to apologise to councillor filer I didn't mean to insult him but my predictive text did it for me, sorry about that. Glashen
  • Score: 8

10:07am Tue 27 May 14

Redgolfer says...

Glashen wrote:
Glashen wrote:
Best thing now that the council have pushed on with this plan, against the advice of many is that they get it finished quickly, it is hard to believe how long it takes for the council's contractors to lay some pavers. Could I also make a plea to the clot Filer that the council keep the businesses that operate in the town centre including the taxis etc informed about what they are doing, there is such a thing as email and the internet you know. Over the weekend roads, car parks and taxi ranks were closed how many businesses knew what would be closed and when.
I have to apologise to councillor filer I didn't mean to insult him but my predictive text did it for me, sorry about that.
Pity, I thought that you had used the right words for Cllr Filer after some of his decisions !!!
[quote][p][bold]Glashen[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Glashen[/bold] wrote: Best thing now that the council have pushed on with this plan, against the advice of many is that they get it finished quickly, it is hard to believe how long it takes for the council's contractors to lay some pavers. Could I also make a plea to the clot Filer that the council keep the businesses that operate in the town centre including the taxis etc informed about what they are doing, there is such a thing as email and the internet you know. Over the weekend roads, car parks and taxi ranks were closed how many businesses knew what would be closed and when.[/p][/quote]I have to apologise to councillor filer I didn't mean to insult him but my predictive text did it for me, sorry about that.[/p][/quote]Pity, I thought that you had used the right words for Cllr Filer after some of his decisions !!! Redgolfer
  • Score: 16

10:31am Tue 27 May 14

Sir Beachy Head says...

djd wrote:
The disabled parking bays can be used by anyone who is disabled and displaying a blue badge so they won't be just for Bridge's clients.
Far too many blue badge holders in this town that are swinging the lead.
[quote][p][bold]djd[/bold] wrote: The disabled parking bays can be used by anyone who is disabled and displaying a blue badge so they won't be just for Bridge's clients.[/p][/quote]Far too many blue badge holders in this town that are swinging the lead. Sir Beachy Head
  • Score: 4

11:00am Tue 27 May 14

BmthNewshound says...

Yet more proof that Bournemouth Council is anti-business. The Horseshoe Common "improvements" are just window dressing to help sell the taxpayer funded Citrus development just the other side of the common.
.
I think its likely that GE Bridge may relocate leaving yet another empty shop in one of the most run down parts of the town centre. Although no fan of UKIP I hope that the surge of support they have enjoyed in the European elections continues in the local elections next year and that they give Beesley and his pals a sound kicking in the polling booths.
Yet more proof that Bournemouth Council is anti-business. The Horseshoe Common "improvements" are just window dressing to help sell the taxpayer funded Citrus development just the other side of the common. . I think its likely that GE Bridge may relocate leaving yet another empty shop in one of the most run down parts of the town centre. Although no fan of UKIP I hope that the surge of support they have enjoyed in the European elections continues in the local elections next year and that they give Beesley and his pals a sound kicking in the polling booths. BmthNewshound
  • Score: 14

11:27am Tue 27 May 14

Glashen says...

Redgolfer wrote:
Glashen wrote:
Glashen wrote:
Best thing now that the council have pushed on with this plan, against the advice of many is that they get it finished quickly, it is hard to believe how long it takes for the council's contractors to lay some pavers. Could I also make a plea to the clot Filer that the council keep the businesses that operate in the town centre including the taxis etc informed about what they are doing, there is such a thing as email and the internet you know. Over the weekend roads, car parks and taxi ranks were closed how many businesses knew what would be closed and when.
I have to apologise to councillor filer I didn't mean to insult him but my predictive text did it for me, sorry about that.
Pity, I thought that you had used the right words for Cllr Filer after some of his decisions !!!
Maybe the ipad knows what I was really thinking, spooky!
[quote][p][bold]Redgolfer[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Glashen[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Glashen[/bold] wrote: Best thing now that the council have pushed on with this plan, against the advice of many is that they get it finished quickly, it is hard to believe how long it takes for the council's contractors to lay some pavers. Could I also make a plea to the clot Filer that the council keep the businesses that operate in the town centre including the taxis etc informed about what they are doing, there is such a thing as email and the internet you know. Over the weekend roads, car parks and taxi ranks were closed how many businesses knew what would be closed and when.[/p][/quote]I have to apologise to councillor filer I didn't mean to insult him but my predictive text did it for me, sorry about that.[/p][/quote]Pity, I thought that you had used the right words for Cllr Filer after some of his decisions !!![/p][/quote]Maybe the ipad knows what I was really thinking, spooky! Glashen
  • Score: 10

1:11pm Tue 27 May 14

Redgolfer says...

Azphreal wrote:
How many disabled parking places were there before all of this?
2 across the road from this shop, but with a blue badge you could park outside the shop on yellow lines.
[quote][p][bold]Azphreal[/bold] wrote: How many disabled parking places were there before all of this?[/p][/quote]2 across the road from this shop, but with a blue badge you could park outside the shop on yellow lines. Redgolfer
  • Score: 10

3:32pm Tue 27 May 14

speedy231278 says...

"The one purpose of this current work at Horseshoe Common is to promote the area"

No it isn't, it's to maximise the selling prices of the rabbit hutches in the Citrus Building, which has been subsidised by the taxpayer to make profit for Morgan Sindall and the BDC (ie Morgan Sindall and a few councillors).
"The one purpose of this current work at Horseshoe Common is to promote the area" No it isn't, it's to maximise the selling prices of the rabbit hutches in the Citrus Building, which has been subsidised by the taxpayer to make profit for Morgan Sindall and the BDC (ie Morgan Sindall and a few councillors). speedy231278
  • Score: 12

4:43pm Tue 27 May 14

jamesrhodes123 says...

It's really interesting to read all your posts, both critical and supportive - thanks.

We at Bridges are not against improvement and development of Bournemouth and during the consultation period regarding the Horseshoe common changes we were broadly supportive, as the area was looking shabby and run down. We were clear to ask about how the works would impact on our operational capability and were assured that we would still have easy access for customers and delivery/collection vehicles.

The council have made provision for disabled parking on our side of the road, which as councillor Filer states, does benefit us and will help. There is a loading/unloading bay going in across the road from our shop (a fact that only came to light last Friday), which is big enough for maybe 2 cars. We suspect it will be insufficient to cope with all the businesses along our stretch of Old Christchurch Road and delivery lorries will certainly struggle to get close to us.

We have no desire to slow progress in the town, but if 'progress' means more bars, clubs and restaurants along Old Christchurch Road to cater for the war zone that is a weekend in Bournemouth then perhaps we would be better off in Christchurch (thanks for the tip Tom_BH2!)
It's really interesting to read all your posts, both critical and supportive - thanks. We at Bridges are not against improvement and development of Bournemouth and during the consultation period regarding the Horseshoe common changes we were broadly supportive, as the area was looking shabby and run down. We were clear to ask about how the works would impact on our operational capability and were assured that we would still have easy access for customers and delivery/collection vehicles. The council have made provision for disabled parking on our side of the road, which as councillor Filer states, does benefit us and will help. There is a loading/unloading bay going in across the road from our shop (a fact that only came to light last Friday), which is big enough for maybe 2 cars. We suspect it will be insufficient to cope with all the businesses along our stretch of Old Christchurch Road and delivery lorries will certainly struggle to get close to us. We have no desire to slow progress in the town, but if 'progress' means more bars, clubs and restaurants along Old Christchurch Road to cater for the war zone that is a weekend in Bournemouth then perhaps we would be better off in Christchurch (thanks for the tip Tom_BH2!) jamesrhodes123
  • Score: 18

6:24pm Tue 27 May 14

Yankee1 says...

Businesses move with the times.

This one is clearly not.
Businesses move with the times. This one is clearly not. Yankee1
  • Score: -13

12:04am Wed 28 May 14

AnastasiaB says...

This is just another attempt to increase the night time economy or rather more drunks per square foot. Bournemouth is still a no go area at night especially Horseshoe Common and nothing will change this while there are so many bars and clubs in the area. Maybe this is why the town centre is dying and no decent shops want to be there.
This is just another attempt to increase the night time economy or rather more drunks per square foot. Bournemouth is still a no go area at night especially Horseshoe Common and nothing will change this while there are so many bars and clubs in the area. Maybe this is why the town centre is dying and no decent shops want to be there. AnastasiaB
  • Score: 3

9:09am Wed 28 May 14

Redgolfer says...

AnastasiaB wrote:
This is just another attempt to increase the night time economy or rather more drunks per square foot. Bournemouth is still a no go area at night especially Horseshoe Common and nothing will change this while there are so many bars and clubs in the area. Maybe this is why the town centre is dying and no decent shops want to be there.
Sorry, you have the wrong end of the stick, the council are trying to kill off the Horseshoe Common area, it will look good during daylight hours but at night, welcome to the wild west and it WILL become a nightmare with fights up and down Old Christchurch Road, then lets see what spin the council put on it then !!!
[quote][p][bold]AnastasiaB[/bold] wrote: This is just another attempt to increase the night time economy or rather more drunks per square foot. Bournemouth is still a no go area at night especially Horseshoe Common and nothing will change this while there are so many bars and clubs in the area. Maybe this is why the town centre is dying and no decent shops want to be there.[/p][/quote]Sorry, you have the wrong end of the stick, the council are trying to kill off the Horseshoe Common area, it will look good during daylight hours but at night, welcome to the wild west and it WILL become a nightmare with fights up and down Old Christchurch Road, then lets see what spin the council put on it then !!! Redgolfer
  • Score: 1

11:27pm Wed 28 May 14

Charminster Guy says...

My comments as the Manager of G E Bridge and Co would be as follows
1.The Citrus Building has taken over a very popular car park -Housing could easily been built above allowing car park to be available.
2.Yes a very pretty Multi sstorey has been built at the Lansdowne a freedom of information comparing takings at this and the car parks it has replaced wil see how popular it is.
3.It is clear with the new Cycle lane at top of Richmond Hill and the allowing of Cycling through the Square the Council would prefer us "on our bikes".
4.Unlike Poole Council, Bournemouth Council is closing toilets without any proper replacement thus making nearby alleyways toilets .
5. A loading bay of 2 car width is insufficient (although we have been assured this maybe extended - surely this could be done now ?)
6.Yes two disabled bays have been put on our side of the road -a greater distance than once road side (albeit with double yellow lines) for carers trying to get some customers that distance is great.
7.Thank Councillor Michael Filer on at least 3 times have had to request large piles of rubbish from nearby flats and business as no provision had been made.(he saw that it was cleared)
8.Has Bridge and Co moved with the times- Since being the first Sponsor of the first ever air show in the country, having the first private ambulance, sponsoring the building of lansdowne College- has changed from being a Pharmacy to Surgical and Sports supports catering for all ages and has the most comprehensive website of any of competitors www.bl-medical.com so the charge we do not move with the times falls flat.
9.The night time economy is a part of our town and well managed- the removal of green railings and putting benches and trees in front of the bars is a calming influence ( the vast majority of allage groups are well behaved in Bournemouth Night Life) and even the majority of the growing stag n hen parties are well behaved -however they tend to start earlier on Friday or Saturday which without intending to be can be intimidating for customers.
10.Should Bridge and CO move from Bournemouth Town Centre to make way for another Coffee Shop or Sandwich Bar to help create Cafe culture? perhaps the answer lies down Old Christchurch Road- Closure of Amour Coffee/Sands Sandwich Bar/Dallas chicken .......... (note further up the rd Police are objecting to opening of another Chicken place for fear of Confrontation)
11. Yes many of these issues were raised on my consultation paper even if there were no questions about it or directly with Councillor Filer .
My comments as the Manager of G E Bridge and Co would be as follows 1.The Citrus Building has taken over a very popular car park -Housing could easily been built above allowing car park to be available. 2.Yes a very pretty Multi sstorey has been built at the Lansdowne a freedom of information comparing takings at this and the car parks it has replaced wil see how popular it is. 3.It is clear with the new Cycle lane at top of Richmond Hill and the allowing of Cycling through the Square the Council would prefer us "on our bikes". 4.Unlike Poole Council, Bournemouth Council is closing toilets without any proper replacement thus making nearby alleyways toilets . 5. A loading bay of 2 car width is insufficient (although we have been assured this maybe extended - surely this could be done now ?) 6.Yes two disabled bays have been put on our side of the road -a greater distance than once road side (albeit with double yellow lines) for carers trying to get some customers that distance is great. 7.Thank Councillor Michael Filer on at least 3 times have had to request large piles of rubbish from nearby flats and business as no provision had been made.(he saw that it was cleared) 8.Has Bridge and Co moved with the times- Since being the first Sponsor of the first ever air show in the country, having the first private ambulance, sponsoring the building of lansdowne College- has changed from being a Pharmacy to Surgical and Sports supports catering for all ages and has the most comprehensive website of any of competitors www.bl-medical.com so the charge we do not move with the times falls flat. 9.The night time economy is a part of our town and well managed- the removal of green railings and putting benches and trees in front of the bars is a calming influence ( the vast majority of allage groups are well behaved in Bournemouth Night Life) and even the majority of the growing stag n hen parties are well behaved -however they tend to start earlier on Friday or Saturday which without intending to be can be intimidating for customers. 10.Should Bridge and CO move from Bournemouth Town Centre to make way for another Coffee Shop or Sandwich Bar to help create Cafe culture? perhaps the answer lies down Old Christchurch Road- Closure of Amour Coffee/Sands Sandwich Bar/Dallas chicken .......... (note further up the rd Police are objecting to opening of another Chicken place for fear of Confrontation) 11. Yes many of these issues were raised on my consultation paper even if there were no questions about it or directly with Councillor Filer . Charminster Guy
  • Score: 4

5:52am Mon 9 Jun 14

we-shall-see says...

Sir Beachy Head wrote:
djd wrote:
The disabled parking bays can be used by anyone who is disabled and displaying a blue badge so they won't be just for Bridge's clients.
Far too many blue badge holders in this town that are swinging the lead.
And your medical qualifications to make such a sweeping statement are? :o/
[quote][p][bold]Sir Beachy Head[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]djd[/bold] wrote: The disabled parking bays can be used by anyone who is disabled and displaying a blue badge so they won't be just for Bridge's clients.[/p][/quote]Far too many blue badge holders in this town that are swinging the lead.[/p][/quote]And your medical qualifications to make such a sweeping statement are? :o/ we-shall-see
  • Score: 1

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