THE owners of a 'biker' café between Whitchurch and Wem have moved to reassure residents that they are doing all they can to support the community.

The Phoenix Café, on the B5476, opened at towards the end of May and has become a popular place for motorcyclists to visit in recent weeks.

During the café's opening weekend pictures were circulated on social media showing a large amount of people at the site, although Inspector Tracey Ryan from West Mercia Police confirmed the café was following Covid-19 measures.

But in a letter sent to The Herald a local resident, who wished to remain anonymous, was unhappy with the presence of the bikers on the road and criticised the police's response.

The letter read: "Inspector Ryan is reported as confirming that visitors to the Phoenix pop-up café on the B5476 at Coton are “all sticking to social distancing measures” though the photograph evidently shows otherwise.

"Insp Ryan’s subsequent claim that those not distancing were “within family groups” beggars belief.

"But how did she fail to spot the blindingly obvious: that 100 plus bikers were gathered in close proximity in clear breach of government Covid guidelines."

Insp Ryan hit back at the criticism, saying she would not respond to someone who was not themselves at the site.

She said: "I will not be responding to anonymous criticism from someone who wasn’t there, doesn’t understand the regulations and has no appreciation for the NPCC four Es stance."

Meanwhile the café owners themselves say they have gone to great lengths to ensure visitors are respectful of their surroundings.

"We are continuing to put signs up on our site asking for support from the bikers," said business owner Wendy Albonetti.

"Once they leave the forecourt there's not a lot I can do, but when they call in we have signs in asking them to leave quietly and respect the neighbours.

"I have to add next door is an MOT bike station and detailers so there's always going to be more bikers in the area.

"We're quite happy to work with everybody and we're doing everything in our power to make sure everyone is respectful."