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Truckers' cafe to close

PUBLISHED: 16:26 11 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:30 03 March 2010

FORGET the bacon roll.

It's roll off for quayside fry-ups at Ipswich Port leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of truckers.

Lorraine Barham, owner of the Snack Box, has until the end of the month before she is ordered off site.

FORGET the bacon roll.

It's roll off for quayside fry-ups at Ipswich Port leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of truckers.

Lorraine Barham, owner of the Snack Box, has until the end of the month before she is ordered off site.

As time draws nearer Lorraine is getting sleepless nights worrying about what the future will hold.

"I am disgusted about the whole thing," said the mum-of-three who petitioned to keep the business at the port.

"The future is still in doubt. I feel really angry about it. I have built up a good reputation here.

"Where else are the lorry drivers going to go? If they have to hang around at the dock at least a cup of tea could help.

"No one from the port has met me face to face to talk about this. They just don't want to know.

"I should have been told when I took the business over that it would just be short term. If I know I would only have had the business for six months I wouldn't have bothered.

"I gave up a reliable job to come here. I have hardly slept. I don't know what to do."

Lorraine, 37, bought The Snack Box in July last year and sells hot and cold food from a site at the West Bank terminal.

But she was shocked to receive a letter from Associated British Ports, which owns Ipswich Port, giving her notice to quit.

The decision has infuriated lorry drivers who said there is no where else on the port for them to go.

One angry lorry driver said: "I would like to bet the dock staff have canteen facilities. I would just like to know why we are being treated like second class citizens?"

"The lorry drivers are all concerned," said Lorraine, of Nacton Road, Ipswich. "On Wednesday night the ferry was late. I usually shut at 6 pm, but I stayed open until 7 pm and sold 12 curry and chips.

"It just shows there is a need for a snack bar here. No one from the port has come over to see what I am doing.

"They talk about safety coming first. But there is plenty of room here and they haven't even suggested another site at the port. If they wanted me to move over a bit I would have done."

There was a glimmer of hope as Lorraine said the landlord of the Live and Let Live pub has been trying to save the day by seeking permission for her set up there.

But the so far the future remains in doubt.

Previously Robert Smith, ABP's Ipswich Port manager, told The Star the snack bar had to close "in the interests of safety." He said as the port has got busier there is more demand for space.

"More vehicles are using the port and the Snack Box presents a hazard as drivers park up, causing congestion."


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