Hull is a ghost town – and my shop might not survive – Hull Live

Posted in Tattoo Shop on Sep 06, 2020

A familiar Hull shopkeeper says he may have to close his store as customer numbers in the "ghost town" dwindle.

Troy Eyaad says his House of Ink tattoo studio has thrived in recent months but claims the closure of nearby Wright Street to through traffic and the reluctance for office bosses to allow their staff to return to the city centre has left him questioning the future of the newsagent's he owns nextdoor.

The former doorman, who spent much of lockdown filling boxes to deliver to vulnerable people, has returned to his side-by-side businesses since coronavirus numbers began to fall and shops opened up once again.

While House of Ink is going from strength to strength, the same can't be said for Prospect 82 which only opened for the first time on March 1.

"It's struggling. The offices aren't coming back. It is like a ghost town around me," Mr Eyaad said.

"The situation is we are not making money from it. I'm thinking about alternatives like turning it into a food bank or something else.

"The tattoo shop is covering the newsagents. It is paying the expenses of the newsagents."

Public realm work being carried out in Prospect Street has also raised concerns for Troy that barriers and workmen outside his business could stifle what little trade he has remaining.

It is not yet clear exactly when that will happen.

He also says he has concerns that empty units and measures to close roads will have a negative impact on other business people wanting to invest in Hull.

However, his biggest concern surrounds the closure of Wright Street which council officials have sealed off from the Prospect Street junction to stop it being a "rat run".

While the traffic calming measure will have benefits for the safety of cyclists, Troy says it is to the detriment of his business.

"They didn't ask us what the impact of the closure would be," he said.

"It's not going well whatsoever also because the council has closed Wright Street. People used to park their cars there and come past us when going into town but they can't be bothered to go around.

"If 200 people used to park their cars there every day, that's a possible 20 or 30 we have missed out on.

"I just turned up one morning and it was closed. It hit us.

"It could last 12 months apparently but a lot of people won't survive.

"I might need to change the nature of the business because of what they have done."

His concerns come after Dara Said, the manager of VPS Repairs in Wright Street, also hit out at the closure.

We've created a Facebook group for people who live, work and play in Hull city centre. It will have all the latest on new shops that are opening, events taking place and developments around the town.

All eyes are on Hull as we continue as City of Culture to see how we take the next steps forward and this is the perfect place to explore that.

Don't be shy - feel free to like, comment and share your own ideas and pictures, and let us know if anything pops up that you think is worth us reporting.

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Speaking last month, he described how he had taken just 30 in a week after the junction was closed.

In response, a spokeswoman for Hull City Council said: The owner is urged to get in touch with the council directly he is concerned about the future of his business.

"The traffic management in Wright Street and Baker Street were installed at the Prospect Street end to reduce rat running from Freetown Way and reduce traffic crossing Prospect Street.

"This was to enable safe socially distanced pedestrian movements along Prospect Street as part of the response to Covid-19.

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Hull is a ghost town - and my shop might not survive - Hull Live

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