Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Furious former Ferndown fish fryer fumes at fietsers — chippy owner blames bike lane for takeaway's demise, despite roadworks ending last year and several negative reviews for "dreadful" food online

While some locals weren't convinced — one reviewer calling the food "the worst fish and chips I have ever had" — the shop's owner claims its demise is all down to bike lane construction stopping people coming in, works the council said ended last year...

A former fish and chip shop owner has blamed the construction of a cycle lane for his takeaway closing, claiming it hit his business takings by 40 per cent. However, in the time since he claimed locals "would just avoid it like the plague" due to roadworks, the council has pointed out that phase of the bike lane project was completed last year, while others suggested that preferred alternative chippies and the multiple negative reviews online could also be a factor — one reviewer calling the food "quite possibly the worst fish and chips I have ever had".

Ferndown Fish & Chips on Wimborne Road East was bought by Tony Doyle in May 2022, the owner telling the Daily Echo he enjoyed 11 months of good business but was hit with a 40 per cent reduction in takings once construction began on a cycle route nearby. 

The infrastructure on Wimborne Road East, branded "Britain's biggest bike lane" by the Daily Mail has featured on road.cc before, just this week in fact some locals opposed to the scheme were accused of "spreading misinformation" after unfounded rumours emerged on social media claiming that several trees will be cut down during a future phase of construction, the council calling the claims "factually incorrect and negative".

> "Waste of money" cycle lane slammed, as some locals call for more space for drivers – "because that's the majority"

And in response to the latest comments, from the owner of Ferndown Fish & Chips, Dorset Council clarified that the roadworks in question "finished in November last year" and "at no point was the road fully closed excluding three non-consecutive week-long periods for overnight works starting at 8pm, with only one lane closure, traffic management in place at all times, and numerous routes available for customers to reach the premises".

Despite this, Mr Doyle, who said he had been looking forward to retiring in the shop for "happy days and a quiet pace of life", says he was left in debt "because of the VAT and electrical" and "couldn't save it by the end" as the "locals would just avoid it like the plague".

Wimborne Road East (Dorset Council)

"I had good customers and really nice people who would phone me and say 'Tony, we can't come, it's taken us 40 minutes to get home'," he said. "I was making a profit and then [the] roadworks started. Business takings were down 40 per cent during that period."

And while some locals had sympathy for the chippy owner's business woes, others questioned some of his claims.

One comment made on Facebook suggested that "most people go to Karsbergs [another fish and chip shop in Ferndown] as it's better". "Consumers vote with their feet, if what you're offering isn't as good as a mile down the road then you won't get the trade," Craig Addison wrote.

Another local pointed out the negative reviews that the takeaway had received online. They said: "No need to blame the cycle lanes when a quick look online reveals some awful reviews for this place!"

Despite more positive reviews in previous years, the feedback from customers in the past 12 months is less complimentary, with several giving one-star ratings and detailing their complaints.

> Bitter Bath burger bar boss bashes bike lane

"Quite possibly the worst fish and chips I have ever had," one from 10 months ago begins. "Really poor. Not fresh battered. Frozen fish cooked at too high a temperature... do not recommend at all."

Another said "unfortunately this chip shop doesn't come anywhere near" to the competitors in the area, with portions that "are a lot smaller for the same amount of money".

A third review said the owner "was dismissive and rude" during a dispute over a cancelled order, while another more recent review called it "absolutely dreadful".

It said: "We thought we'd try this, as our usual was closed for some reason. The fish and chips here were laden with grease. The mushy peas were inedible. The fish wasn't cooked properly, so much so my fiancé refused to eat any of it. If it wasn't for the fact we bought it as a takeaway, we would be requesting a refund."

Wimborne cycle lane (Dorset Council/ BCP Council)

Earlier this week we reported that Dorset Council had been critical of anti-cycle lane campaigners who criticised the active travel scheme and said it did not represent "value for money". The local authority responded to claims that a future part of the project would see several trees cut down, and explained that this was not the case and the rumours were "factually incorrect and negative".

A Dorset Council spokesperson said: "We are not removing any trees as part of our current works on Wimborne Road”, addressing the unfounded rumours.

"We carefully designed the scheme so the existing trees by Clayford Avenue and the Pure Drop Pub are retained. We will, in fact, be adding an additional tree close to the Stanfield Road junction. Careful consideration is made to the natural environment when planning our projects. We have worked closely with our ecologists to ensure the impact on the environment is minimised at all stages of construction."

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

Add new comment

25 comments

Avatar
john_smith | 1 week ago
0 likes

Comments on f***book? What has become of road.cc's legendary investigative journalism?

Avatar
mdavidford replied to john_smith | 1 week ago
2 likes

john_smith wrote:

Comments on f***book? What has become of road.cc's legendary investigative journalism?

Um, have you confused road.cc with the New York Times?

Avatar
GMBasix | 1 week ago
3 likes

Too bad, Mr Doyle: damnum absque injuria.

You have a right of access to the highway but not to the trade that passes along it.

Avatar
Scarey | 1 week ago
5 likes

From my experience people will go to any lengths for decent fish and chips; at one time I myself would travel into the next town to get reputably the best in south east Wales, and often, in the long queue, I had conversations with people from even further away than I had come. You couldn't park around there either, so it was quite a walk; no, this has to be an awful chippy!

Avatar
Cayo | 1 week ago
13 likes

Potty purveyor of pescetarian and potato pleasures protests "path for pedalling passers-by prevents potential patrons parking to peruse potential product purchases", permanently padlocks property.

Avatar
mdavidford replied to Cayo | 1 week ago
5 likes

Probably piss-poor pescetarian and potato prandial preparations, according to the article.

Avatar
eburtthebike replied to Cayo | 1 week ago
5 likes

Cayo wrote:

Potty purveyor of pescetarian and potato pleasures protests "path for pedalling passers-by prevents potential patrons parking to peruse potential product purchases", permanently padlocks property.

Better quality p's than the ones he serves!

Avatar
KDee replied to eburtthebike | 1 week ago
1 like

Got any "O's"?

Avatar
Cayo replied to KDee | 1 week ago
0 likes
KDee wrote:

Got any "O's"?

Mon Repos!

Avatar
don simon fbpe | 1 week ago
7 likes

I thought these entrepreneurs were supposed to spot gaps in the market and fill them, not cry like babies and blame everyone else when it goes tits up! Gawd bless capitalism!

Avatar
cyclisto | 1 week ago
11 likes

When trying to find a restaurant and eat, the further it is from motor traffic, the more chances it has to be selected by me. Fish matches with a lot of things but definitely not burnt diesel fuel.

Avatar
perce | 1 week ago
14 likes

I don't think I've ever felt the need to phone my local chip shop owner to warn him I wouldn't be coming.

Avatar
mdavidford replied to perce | 1 week ago
5 likes

Perhaps they had so few customers that those they did have had to let them know in advance so that they could get the fryer up to temperature.

Avatar
Eton Rifle replied to perce | 1 week ago
6 likes

Agreed. The clown can't even lie convincingly.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to perce | 1 week ago
6 likes

perce wrote:

I don't think I've ever felt the need to phone my local chip shop owner to warn him I wouldn't be coming.

He's about as believable as a politician saying, "I've had dozens of people every day come up to me in the street and say xyz..."

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to perce | 1 week ago
4 likes

Perhaps you're just not as hungry as that imaginary reported customer?

Avatar
Rome73 replied to perce | 1 week ago
2 likes

Also if his 'local' customers were taking 40 minutes to get to the chip shop, why not walk and take only 10 minutes. Or even cycle? 

Avatar
mark1a | 1 week ago
12 likes

You've missed a sitter with the headline "Furious fish fryer fumes at fietsers", as the location is Ferndown. "Furious fish fryer fumes at Ferndown fietsers"

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to mark1a | 1 week ago
16 likes

Chirpy chippy chef in Christchurch constituency curses cyclists, chided by county council.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Rendel Harris | 1 week ago
4 likes

Crotchety cod-cooker complains council cycle construction crimps custom; consumer comments cite "crap chips".

Avatar
Jack Sexty replied to mark1a | 1 week ago
4 likes

Right you are. We've also updated the title to clarify that Mr Doyle, to the best of our knowledge, no longer fries fish (commercially anyway). Please accept our apologies.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Jack Sexty | 1 week ago
6 likes

Presumably he has other fish to fry?

Avatar
mdavidford replied to Jack Sexty | 1 week ago
4 likes

...fumes futilely...

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to mark1a | 1 week ago
10 likes

Bonkers batterer bemoans "blight" because bicycle-building blocked business?

Avatar
ROOTminus1 replied to mark1a | 1 week ago
9 likes

Dorset's disastrous dinner dispenser disputes demise: Duly denigrates delusional diversions directed by driveway demolition

?

Latest Comments