'Betrayed' businesses 'hanging by a thread' in Finsbury Park after latest Wells Terrace delay
PUBLISHED: 17:51 29 January 2019 | UPDATED: 17:57 29 January 2019
Small businesses in Finsbury Park are losing profits due to the continued closure of the Wells Terrace station entrance – and they feel “betrayed” by the latest delay.
Transport for London [TFL] this month announced the entrance via Goodwin Street and Wells Terrace, closed since 2016 so the luxury City North flats can be developed, won’t open in April as scheduled.
Neighbouring businesses have reacted with dismay, as the lost footfall continues to bite into their profits.
Mehmet Bokgeici, 28, who works at the Terrace cafe, in Clifton Terrace, said: “It has affected us a lot: we are dependent on the flow of people through [Wells Terrace] as a business.”
“I’m slowly taking over the business and it’s just not nice to hear these kinds of things because they gave us a schedule but obviously they haven’t stuck to it because they’re a big company and tend to do what they like.
“We feel really betrayed.”
And, in a message to developers Telford Homes and Transport for London [TfL], Mehmet added: “Keep your promises”.
“It’s affecting us really badly,” said a worker at Lyndas Dream Days Bridal, in Wells Terrace, who gave her name as AJ.
“At the end of the day, our entrance to the station is closed. It’s where all our customers go through, so if people can’t find us it’s really bad.
“It always affects the parking. They sometimes close the road when they’re doing work, which makes it difficult to park.”
She added: “We are not happy about it [the delay].”
Helena Farstad, co-owner of Oak London wine store and bar, in Wells Terrace, thinks the April opening was an “ambition” rather than a “contractual duty”.
But she said: “It’s a pain, I can tell you that much – it’s an absolutely critical situation [...]
“It’s a massive challenge that it’s closed, we knew before we set up [two years ago] that it would be closed so planned accordingly.
“But businesses are certainly hanging on a thread.”
Manu Sethci, who’s worked at Prom Evening Dresses & Jewelry, in Fonthill Road, for the past 10 years, says his business is also suffering.
“It does affect everybody,” he said. “Especially us because we are in the middle of the street and people used to come here before going out to places.”
The Gazette understands the closed entrance has also caused a “real issue” for neighbouring Ennon and Co. Solicitors.
A spokesperson for Telford Homes, the developer building City North, said: “City North is playing an important part in the regeneration of the area.
“Local residents will benefit from many new amenities, including the newly opened step free access to Finsbury Park station that should significantly increase footfall to the location and benefit local traders.
“We continue to have consistent dialogue with them about working together, to ensure this community flourishes for the long term.
“We have also committed funds towards marketing the local area and have sponsored the Fonthill Road Festival.
“Many of the local traders we have spoken to have a very positive view of City North and what it will bring to the community.”
TfL has been approached for comment.