The future of the Savoy, the city’s oldest independent cinema, is at risk due to a decision made by the council to stop customers from using a nearby car park. On Saturday, traffic wardens clamped six families’ cars at once, with the total fines exceeding £400.
The Council told the Savoy the move was made as a result of health and safety concerns linked to the demolition of garages on the Lenton Towers site. No further explanation has been given as to how customers or their cars could be at risk.
The current restrictions will be in place until November, after which the road will be narrowed so that there is no space for cars to park. The site, which until recently would hold 40 cars at a time, has been deemed fit for use as a public footpath but not as a car park.
Accounts assistant Donna Hazzeldine told Impact she wondered whether the Council was more concerned about the security of people’s cars than the wellbeing of a passersby.
“We’ve never had any health and safety problems and there’s nothing to stop people parking around there,” Hazzeldine added.
Only half of the cinema’s annual ticket sales come from students, while the other half comes from local families and permanent residents, many of whom travel in by car. Staff at the cinema are worried that their revenue and reputation are both at stake now visitors can’t easily travel in.
To combat the restrictions, the cinema is launching an ePetition over the weekend, which they hope will reach over 30,000 locals before meeting local MP Lilian Greenwood next week.
The cinema also possesses CCTV footage of a traffic warden turning around a ‘No Loading’ sign having already ticketed a car, from which the sign was out of sight, for £70. The footage will provisionally be broadcast by the BBC next week.
Impact’s Film Editor Josh Franks said: “The Savoy’s importance within the student community is undeniable, and it would be criminal to lose it over something as trivial as parking spaces.”
Pledge your support for the campaign by signing the e-petition.