‘It’s crippling us’: Hundreds call for town’s tourist information centre to be reinstated
PUBLISHED: 14:03 05 September 2020 | UPDATED: 15:40 05 September 2020
Hundreds signed a petition calling for a town’s tourist information centre to be reinstated.
Hunstanton Town Council and West Norfolk council closed the centre at the resort’s town hall during lockdown, arguing it was too small to allow social distancing.
They replaced it with an un-staffed information point in the Coal Shed, a former railway building near the seafront.
The move sparked anger from traders, residents and visitors, who said it was a vital resource.
On Saturday, Hunstanton Civic Society launched a petition calling for the TIC to be replaced.
Among the first to sign it were Harrold and Jennifer Horrocks from Glossop, Derbyshire. The couple, both 71, said they had spent 20 minutes following confusing signs, trying to find the information point.
“We’ve been going round in circles,” said Mrs Horrocks. “I just wanted some information about what there is to do.”
Also struggling to find the information point were Amanda Anderson, 44, her husband Scott, 45 and sons Daniel and Michael, aged nine and seven, who were visiting from in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire.
“We thought we would go to the TIC but this sign is pointing here, this sign is pointing there,” she said.
Yvonne Bridger, from the civic society, who was collecting signatures on The Green, said: “This must be happening day in, day out. People looking for the tourist information centre are following the signs and walking round in circles.”
Debbie Harrison, who runs the Gemini Lodge Guest House, on Alexandra Road, said her trade had suffered since the staffed TIC closed.
“All of us B&Bs rely on the TIC to send us people,” she said. “It’s crippling us.”
Sandy Duff-Dick, who runs the Rosamaly Guest House, with her husband Bob, went to view the information point for the first time.
“Since it’s been open, we’ve not had anyone from here,” she said. “For accommodation providers, it’s not helpful.”
Mrs Bridger said the civic society was calling for the return of a staffed facility.
“Where it is, is not important,” she said. “It’s the staffed element that matters.”
A steady stream of locals and visitors queued at times to sign the petition.
“There’s just been so much support,” said former town and borough mayor Carol Bower.
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