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Calling time on church parking?

Restricted parking  - now customers only at the Duke William
Restricted parking - now customers only at the Duke William
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A landlady at a Longridge pub has banned the use of its car park except for customers wanting a meal or a drink.

Annie Hedges was forced to make the ruling following her takeover of the Duke William in April because, she says “not one of those going to church on Sundays or other days ever came in to ask if they could park here, not one. No-one even came in for a tea, coffee or a drink.”

The ban, enforced by retractable bollards in place when the pub is closed, has upset local people who have been permitted to use the car park by previous landlords.

Those visiting the churchyard to tend graves have found it safer than parking on the road (see Letters page), and those attending weddings. funerals or other parish events at St Lawrence’s Church opposite the pub, have also been able to use the space.

Mrs Hedges – who also runs Chipping’s Sun Inn where she has an ‘excellent relationship’ with the village’s St Bartholomew’s Church – said she would be happy to come to some agreement with the parish.

“But I have to consider safety issues here when the pub is closed,” she explained.

“I have invested a lot of money here. For instance, £2,000 is needed each year by United Utilities for surface checks on the car park. But the pub is in an attractive area, I want it to be a success and it is not my intention to upset people.”

In a response from the parish, vicar the Rev David Anderson said he understood both sides of the issue and it would be discussed by the Parochial Church Council at its next meeting later this month.

He added “However, it would also be nice for people to go into the pub and ask the landlady if they could park there, or even to have a drink or a coffee.”