Bike ride move to Chepstow Racecourse causes ‘massive financial loss’ for town, according to traders
6:31pm Tuesday 22nd October 2013 in News
Motorcyclist cross the A48 Severn Bridge between Aust and Chepstow for the charity Hoggin The Bridge charity ride (1699151)
BUSINESSES criticised a decision to move a popular bike event to Chepstow Racecourse with one declaring it had been “a massive financial loss” for their town.
Shopkeepers said Chepstow was “dead” on Sunday as bikers descended on the racecourse for the eighth Hoggin’ the Bridge charity bike ride.
The ride was one of the biggest events in the town, drawing thousands of bikers to Chepstow each year, but organisers decided to move the event to the racecourse on safety grounds.
Coach and Horses pub landlord Ian Meyrick, 60, said: “People were disgruntled.
“My pub was quite busy with regular customers, but we had very few bikers come into town. It was a non event.”
Valerie Morgan, 54, of the Serendipity vintage shop in St Mary Street, said: “It is a massive financial loss for the town and also for the parents who came to watch it.
“I think the town has lost out big time.”
Carol Mutlow, of Hannah’s Music shop in Moor Street, added: “It is probably the biggest event of the year. It’s a shame to see it leave the town.
“It was dead apart from music outside the White Lion pub.”
Chepstow Chamber of Commerce acknowledged the town would have been “packed” and the move was a “disappointment”.
But executive member Griff Rogers, 56, stressed the organisers had “significant reasons” to move to the racecourse following a minor accident involving a child and a biker last year.
The Hoggin’ the Bridge charity yesterday [October 21] said that the event had “outgrown” Chepstow and few Chepstow traders had taken the opportunity to come to the racecourse.
The charity said it had become necessary to move away from the town centre after an accident involving a girl pedestrian and a biker though neither needed hospital treatment.
A spokesman said the ride had already moved twice from Bristol Rugby Club to Ashton Court Mansion in Bristol because of the size of the event and stressed charities around Chepstow would be supported through the fundraiser.
The spokesman said 1,737 bikers had crossed the Old Severn Bridge on Sunday as part of the bike ride, down by around 300 on last year.
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