Bermondsey business owners have criticised Southwark Council for their “completely over the top” security measures during last week’s fireworks display.
Parts of the roads surrounding Southwark Park were closed off during the event, with security personnel refusing to let drivers – and even pedestrians – through to get to local shops.
Joe Patel, of Vishal Supermarket in Southwark Park Road, said it was “chaos.”
He said: “People couldn’t get through to my shop. Security just kept telling people to move along, move along. You can understand [stopping] cars from coming down the road, but not people!
“I lost money, but not only me, it was also pubs, shops, all the businesses. Whoever was in charge didn’t know what they were doing. They should listen to the local people.”
Tony, owner of Star Cars taxi service in Southwark Park Road, also criticised the firework’s security. He said: “It was completely over the top, just overboard. All my drivers had to go home because the area was sealed off, we lost a lot of money. The whole night was ruined.”
Cllr Ian Wingfield, Southwark Cabinet member for business, employment and culture said: “With a large scale event like Fireworks Night, the safety of everyone coming in and out of the site is paramount. This is why certain road closures were put in place during the event to allow people in and out of entry gates quickly and safely.
“All closures and restrictions were only in place for the absolute minimum time that was needed, and we held conversations with local businesses who came forward with any issues, offering them the best contingency options we could to meet their needs. We always review all our events to ensure that any issues of concern are taken fully into account in any future planning.”
Despite selling out after 21,000 tickets were snapped up, only 8,000 people actually attended the event, which took place after a day of heavy rain.