During the pandemic, many local authorities sanctioned temporary measures that allowed companies in the hospitality sector to place outdoor dining areas on the road. However, these rules will come to an end on 31 October 2022, which has caused extreme dissatisfaction among businesses owners.
As warned by several companies, removing their outdoor seating will cause a huge financial hit, especially during this winter.
In Bristol, spaces currently used by businesses to seat customers outside will be reverting back to parking bays. Business owners have created a petition to Bristol City Council asking for the measures to be extended, with over 4,500 signatures.
According to Bristol mayor Marvin Rees, the Council has issued provisional pavement permits but this will end in October. In addition, the government has extended a law that authorizes hospitality businesses to place dining seating on footpaths for a year. Still, this rule does not entitle the Council to issue temporary traffic orders that would approve parking spaces to be used for dining.
Martin Rees said:
"We're sympathetic, we love what's happened and we moved incredibly quickly as an authority to support businesses to have that outside provision, but we have to work within the restrictions and opportunities presented by central government, over which we have little local discretion."