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Desperate shopkeepers stage protest over ‘business-ruining’ Upper Holloway bus stop

Aija Ustinove, Hasmutch Patel and Jack Charalambous with son Stephen and dad Antonio Aija Ustinove, Hasmutch Patel and Jack Charalambous with son Stephen and dad Antonio

Monday, July 21, 2014
5:32 PM

Distraught shopkeepers staged a protest on this morning in a desperate bid to prevent a bus stop they say will ruin their businesses.

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The merchants gathered outside their shops on Holloway Road, Upper Holloway, in front of lorries sent to install the new stop and said they would not be moving.

Transport for London (TfL) want to move the stop because of work being done to the railway bridge at its current location, but the shopkeepers say their customers will have nowhere to stop, they won’t be able to get deliveries and they will have no passing trade because the pavement will be blocked.

Jack Charalambous, who runs the Tele Shop, said; “I am going to stand here and I won’t let it happen.

“We only found out about this last week and they’re trying to install it today.

“I deal with heavy goods. People need to be able to load and unload outside the shop.

“It’s going to ruin my business.

“I thought Boris Johnson wanted to help small business, but it seems all he cares about are his bikes.”

Aija Ustonva, from Fresh Flower Scent, said: “It will damage the shop for sure.

“I will have to take down my canopy and move my flowers from outside, otherwise people might steal them.

“People will think we have closed.

“It’s been really hard building up business now I feel I will have to start again.

Hasamutch Patel, from Peedees Newsagent, said: “They should have at least got people’s views first, but we had no notice at all, even though they have known since January.

“It’s like they have already decided. We will have no parking at all now.

“They say they are tying to help small business, then they do something like this.”

Simon Horsley, from TfL, said: “The bus stop located near to Upper Holloway station needs to be moved to allow bridge replacement works to take place safely.

“During our consultation we became aware of concerns from some local retailers regarding the new position of the stop and associated shelter. We did consider other locations but none were suitable.

“The bus stop is due to return to its original position in around two years time.”

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