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'Hotel management will not meet with us' say residents

Residents in an area of Cambridge insist their concerns over alleged drug dealing, sex workers and anti-social behaviour continue to be ignored by Travelodge management.

Their fears primarily centre on the budget hotels, chiefly the Travelodge, in the vicinity of Newmarket Road but despite continued efforts they have not yet managed to arrange a meeting with the hotel management.

Residents outside the proposed easyHotel site on Newmarket Road. (8664643)
Residents outside the proposed easyHotel site on Newmarket Road. (8664643)

The situation has been exacerbated by plans for a 100-bedroom budget easyHotel on the corner of Godestone Road. The proposed hotel has no parking and no adequate disabled access. Neither does it have any communal area inside, meaning guests, who are expected to include stag and hen parties, may gather outside in the street as the rooms will be too small for socialising.

They are now hoping that Lynda Kilkelly, safer communities manager at the city council, can help to set up a meeting with the hotel management, who, they claim, have ignored all attempts to meet the residents and hear their concerns.

Mike Evans, who lives in the area, said: “We do feel we have been ignored by the Travelodge management. It is still a live issue for us. We are still in contact with her and are hoping she will facilitate a meeting with residents and management. That is the bottom line.”

Ms Kilkelly said work was continuing with police and residents to examine their concerns.

She said: “Officers from the safer communities team at the city council have been in contact with some local residents and have recently met with one of the hotel managers to discuss their approach to tackling the issues raised. Police officers have spoken to both hotels in the past six weeks as part of an ongoing attempt to identify issues early and address them quickly with the co-operation ofthe hotels where appropriate.

“The council is not aware of very recent issues or concerns that have been reported about this area, officers from the safer communities team will continue to be the link between residents, hotels and the police.”

Plans for the easyHotel were due to be determined earlier this month but the meeting did not go ahead and the proposed site has now been flagged up as an air pollution hotspot in the city.

Mr Evans added: “This is a high-priority thing to sort out. There needs to be an air quality management assessment on this hotel site. It is not clear if it has been done or not.”

Travelodge was contacted for comment.

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