Sad news from the Cafe on Facebook
We have some bad news.....
Today Network rail informed us that we will no longer be able to drive along the sea wall to service and stock the cafe nor will we be able to bring down the Pizza van, sound equip ment and the supplies we need to run our events. This isn't a temporary decision this is a permanent prohibition.
The result of this is that we have had to make the difficult decision to cancel all our planned summer events. But worse than this, having spoken to Teignbridge Council this morning the fact that there is now no vehicle access makes the site of the cafe now not leaseable. This means there will no longer be a cafe at Coryton Cove beyond next year!
We work really hard to run the cafe, Marco and Ian regularly start work at 6am to bring in stock , prepare for events etc. We love what we do and are heartbroken that the actions of Network Rail have put the cafe in jeapardy.
Not once have network rail come to us to discuss the impact that the work on the wall would have on our cafe. They have not given a clear reason for them not giving vehicle access along the wall, we've had it for the past three years! They say there isn't public liability insurance we understand that hasn't been any for quite some time. We have had so many meetings with network rail over the past few months ever we have been told access would be maintained, in the light of this we went ahead and booked acts, organised sound and lighting equipment and comenced applying for the licences needed for the events. This has cost us a lot of money which now, we have no way to get back. We've been told we'd now be prosecuted if we drive al8ng the wall.
So to all of our customers we apologise, we have tried everything we can but network rail have proven themselves to be unhelpful, obstructive and less than transparent in the way they go about things. No consideration has been given by them to those worst affected, they couldn't care less.
We have grown increasingly tired of the stance network rail have taken, we have tried to reach an agreement or compromise so that we can at least do our events but network rail don't care less, they say one thing and then do nothing.
We like to think our events and our cafe bring a little something to Dawlish, a place where you can enjoy some entertainment and food in a safe and beautiful setting, something for all ages and we are devastated that we can no longer do this, we've kept people in Dawlish and hopefully contributed to the town's economy.
Network rail claim they are building the wall for the benefit of the people of Dawlish but at what cost?
Network rails national helpline is 03457 114141
This is devasting news. The cafe brought the cove back to life and has been hugely popular for the last three years. Why are Newtwork Rail being allowed to destroy Dawlish and wreck someone’s livelihood? What are our councillors doing to support Ian and Marco? Network Rail run their own vehicles along the wall so why can’t Ian do the same with his little pizza van? When the wall is completed mobility scooters will be allowed on the wall to access the disability area, don’t they need to be covered by public liability insurance? Before we know it, nobody will be allowed on the wall due to lack of insurance. It all stinks and needs challenging, I hope our councillors step up and do what is needed. I’ve been told Spotlight will be down in Dawlish on Sunday so let’s all get out there and have our voices heard in support of Ian and Marco.
I think you will find that vehicles have never been allowed to drive along the wall and Network Rail are just enforcing what is already in place. And maybe if like me Margaret Swift you had sea water in your property on a regular basis you may have a different opinion i welcome the work that is going on and if i had my way it would be higher and wider. Why can Network Rail run there vehicles along it maybe the answer is as simple as they own it.
Build the wall but done take someone’s livelihood away needlessly!
I've spoken to Cllr Wrigley. He says:
I will do everything I can to keep the cafe running. My understanding is that the cafe should have full access after the building work is complete, and that it should be ok. However, the loss of trade now is a big issue we have to tackle too. I have been trying to get to the reality today, and there is some mis information and mis communication I fear. I will keep pushing to make sure the cafe survives Thanks Martin
I do hope something is done. I appreciate the wall needs to be built but we also need to support local businesses. The evening music has been fantastic and the main bright spot in Dawlish for people who are not here just to die.
Hopefully Network Rail and the council can sort something out and allow the events to continue and the cafe. It seems whenever something good happens in Dawlish someone finds a way to kill it!
Is it not possible to bring supplies into the cove by small boat or hand cart? Perhaps contact businesses in Clovelly (North Devon) to see how they get around the no cars allowed problem.
There's been a cafe at the cove for many decades, I don't see why access has suddenly become a problem, it's just arrogance and bloody mindedness on Network Rail's part.
I suppose that until we see the finished article, we will not know if anyone will have access to the cafe. After all if the sea wall is going to be 1.5 mts higher than was first proposed, the cafe may well end up covered in concrete.
They'll be on BBC Spotlight tonight at 6.45.