Traders claim their businesses are under threat after pedestrianisation of Mare Street
PUBLISHED: 10:35 14 June 2013 | UPDATED: 11:27 14 June 2013
Traders claim their businesses are under threat after parking and loading bays outside their shops were replaced with bus stops to accommodate the Narrow Way pedestrianisation scheme.
The shopkeepers in Amhurst Road, Hackney, also say they were not consulted on the move by Hackney Council to get rid of the 10 parking bays and two loading bays.
The council claims it has sent leaflets to traders.
But Blake Montel, who has run AMP electrical wholesalers for 25 years, said: “The council did not notify us or speak to anybody until everything was in place.
“So now there’s no parking or loading bays outside my store. It’s going to be difficult for people to pick up goods. There’s no longer going to be any passing trade.
“It’s going to affect my livelihood. It’s already had a massive effect. The council is not looking after local businesses.”
Andy Charalambous, 43, who has been running Amhurst Cafe for four to six years, said: “It’s disgusting. We have lost 10 parking spaces and two loading bays and are going to have 15 buses an hour stop in front of us.
“They have told us by a leaflet through my parent’s door that we can unload our goods around the corner - the day before work started.
“Each business here has around £1,000 worth of stock that they need to regularly unload.
“Before you only needed one person. Now one person needs to stay with the vehicle and the other goes backwards and forwards with the shopping.
“My family also own Ceser Supermarket so we are doubly affected.”
Mr Charalambous was further affected by the lack of car parking as he lives above the cafe with his extended family.
He added: “We have four residential parking permits. Last night I was driving all the way out to Dalston Lane to find a parking space.
“The council is saying it’s a six-month trial period but I can’t see them reversing this.”
Hackney MP Meg Hillier said: “I understand the business concerns but we also need to work to make the Narrow Way a pleasanter place to shop in the long term and the bus queues don’t help.”
Hackney Council was unable to comment before the Gazette went to press.