Smoking ban on Cromer pier set to become permanent
- Credit: Archant
A smoking ban introduced on Cromer pier during the very hot summer looks set to become permanent.
It was brought in amid fears that the hot spell could spark fires as the pier is a wooden structure.
The notice on the pier says, 'Due to the heightened fire risk following a long spell of hot, dry weather, smoking and naked flames have been banned on the full length of the pier. E-cigarettes are not included in the ban.'
The pier is owned by North Norfolk District Council whose spokesman said: 'As the owner of this iconic and well-loved landmark, we took this decision for safety reasons – not least because the pier is a wooden structure. There are no plans to revoke this ban.'
Pier general manager Francis Guildea said there had never been a designated smoking area on the pier.
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However, there had been an area outside the Pavilion Theatre where smokers could stub out their cigarettes in stainless steel boxes, which has now been removed.
He added: 'That was never there to encourage people to smoke but more to keep the pier clean and stop smokers throwing their butts in to the sea.' He said the vast majority of people had accepted the ban as a positive move.
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However, one pier user and theatre-goer, Keith Warwick, from Hellesdon, said the move could alienate smokers.
He said: 'There used to be a receptacle for fag-ends in front of the theatre, so half way through a show smokers could have a cigarette, but this has been taken away. I think this is alienating people.
'My partner said it had put him off going to the theatre, because you have to walk off the pier, which is quite a way, to smoke during the interval.
'I understand where they are coming from with the hot weather, but I understand this is going to be permanent. The majority of smokers are responsible people and I don't think they are going to set fire to the pier.'
He is a member of the Friends of the Theatre group and added: 'We have spent a lot of money here.'