A pub landlord who has come under fire for threatening to clamp on his car park said he’s only trying to improve the business.
Martin Driscoll took over The Anchor in Hutton five weeks ago and is in the process of transforming the premises. But he said he’s being blighted by bad behaviour from school children and non-customers abusing the car park.
He’s now erected a sign saying “Customer parking only. Wheel clamping with fixed penalty. No waiting time seven days a week”, which has attracted criticism from villagers who point out clamping on private land has been illegal since 2012.
But Martin’s defended the action, saying he needs to take action to conform to his legal responsibilities and attract new customers.
He said: “We’re not going to clamp anyone, it’s just a deterrent, but I’ll get it changed.
“What else can I do? I have to adhere to the licence and that says the car park is for patrons only.
“The car park is private property and I pay rates on it, but it’s being used by people collecting kids from school, coaches dropping off and taxis just coming to park.
“It’s like me coming to park on your drive. Just because it’s a pub there’s no difference.
“We’re also getting kids effing and jeffing, fighting on there, dropping litter, standing on the tables and swinging on the umbrellas, snapping them.
“If you’re a couple looking for somewhere to go for a nice meal and see all that, you’re going to drive off aren’t you?”
He added: “It was a dive before, I’m not afraid to say it, and it didn’t open till 4pm, so maybe people got used to that.
“But now we’re open from 8am offering breakfast and we need the car park for our customers.
“We’re investing a lot of money and passion into this pub to turn it around and make it a real hub for the community. We’re going to run a big fair at Easter, we’ve got open mic nights planned, bingo, karaoke, a new food menu, and we want to run a farmer’s market on the car park once a month.
“The car park is the best bit of this pub because we can put things on there. We’re even thinking of having a “Prestonbuty” music festival there, if it’s allowed.”