Calais chaos costs Rye business thousands

Peter Cosstick outside Rye Heritage Centre. SUS-150928-154836001
Peter Cosstick outside Rye Heritage Centre. SUS-150928-154836001

This summer’s chaos around the Channel Tunnel due to the refugee crisis has taken a significant toll on a Rye business.

The Rye Heritage Centre estimates a loss of £2,500 because of foreign student day trippers cancelling after being delayed when trying to use the tunnel.

The figure is even higher if you consider others who may have been put off visiting and those visitors who did not book but had to turn around due to the delays.

Centre manager Peter Cosstick said: “When it first started we had a number of student groups that came every year from France and many cancelled.

“Our sound and light show is paid for in advance and they spend quite a lot of money in our shop too.”

Mr Cosstick said this summer’s events will have affected other places too as the students would visit other places in Rye like the church and the museum.

He said around 50 per cent of his trade is made of foreign students.

He did have sympathy for the hauliers waiting for hours either side of the tunnel and losing their cargo, as well as the refugees.

Overall, Mr Cosstick described 2015 as a ‘yo-yo’ summer as the issues in June caused a slump but the rest was quite good.

“We didn’t have a great May and when I speak to other traders that seems to be the trend across the board,” he said.

“June was okay and July was good but wet – it’s just unfortunate but it impacted a lot of people but hopefully it’s all back to normal now.”

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