'Disheartened' Hartlepool pub cancels event after learning of Tall Ships Races parking restrictions

One of Hartlepool’s more traditional pubs is “disheartened” by parking restrictions planned across the Headland during this summer’s Tall Ships Races.
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The Fishermans Arms, in Southgate, the Headland, has expressed concerns it will lose business across the four-day event due to parking restrictions and lack of accessibility.

The Tall Ships Races run from Thursday, July 6, to Sunday, July 9, and attracted around 970,000 visitors when the they were last here in 2010.

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Hartlepool Borough Council is expecting a high volume of visitors again this year.

But permit restrictions – which the council hopes will maintaining traffic flows and protect Headland locals – have frustrated the pub’s landlady, Hazel Whitelock, who said: "People come to me because they want to not because they are passing by and a lot of my customers drive over.

"People do not drink or if they do drive over and drink, they get a taxi back or we give them a lift.”

Hazel added: "I am disheartened. Taxis are hard to get over to the Headland even without the Tall Ships. It is an expense to get over here.

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"You have got to know where I am and you have got to want to come down and I think I will suffer, and we cannot compete with the Marina.”

Kieran Bostock, the council’s assistant director for neighbourhood services, said: “The Tall Ships Races Hartlepool 2023 promises to be a fantastic occasion and we expect it to provide the town with a major economic boost due to the huge number of visitors expected over the four-day period.

“Compared to when the town last hosted The Tall Ships Races in 2010, this year’s event is much more focussed on showcasing the historic Headland.

"For example, the high-profile crew parade will take place across the Headland on the afternoon of Friday July 7th.

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"This will bring lots of people into the area and, hopefully, benefit local businesses in addition the Headland once again takes centre stage on the Sunday during the parade of sail”.

He added: “The permit parking system aims to maximise the enjoyment of the event by both residents and visitors by ensuring that the Headland does not become a free-for-all car park which will impact on residents being able to go about their business as usual.

"We have had a great response from local residents in getting their permit applications in well in advance of the deadline of Friday, 23rd June, 2023, and we would encourage those yet to apply to do so.

"We are sure that the measures put in place, alongside our increased parking facilities close to the site, will help both residents and businesses alike as we come together to demonstrate exactly what makes Hartlepool such a fantastic place to be.”

Hazel has already decided to cancel one event.

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Taking to social media, she said: “Due to the Tall Ships event and the hassle of everyone getting permits to come on to the Headland, I have made the decision to cancel July's Bluesburn.”

She later added: "I think the council should have had a meeting with residents and businesses down on the Headland so we could have voiced our concerns and put our minds at ease.”