AN Enfield chippy whose takings have been slashed because of on-going roadworks is struggling to survive.
John Phantis, owner of fish&chips@...London Road, is losing money hand over fist because of the Cycle Enfield work.
Business was tough before the installation of cycle lanes through the borough started, but now – with no foreseeable end date – he fears it could be the “nail in the coffin” for his business.
He does not oppose cycle lanes per se, but says that digging one down either side of the A105 will, even after the inevitable disruption caused by building them, increase road congestion and could put local shopkeepers - like him - out of business.
Mr Phantis said: “We’ve really suffered since the work started about 4 weeks ago.
“They’ve blocked the road, so people can’t stop outside.
“I’d say takings are down up to 50 per cent some days and about 35 per cent on others. We just can’t keep going like this and they haven’t told us how long it’s going on for.
“They are working at a snails pace, they lay about six slabs a day.
“I don’t blame the workmen, but if this was a private company they’d be somebody kicking them to go faster.
“But there’s no boss out there and no time pressures. But all the time we’re loosing money.”
The Cycle Enfield £42 million cycle lane programme has triggered bitter arguments between ’better street’ campaigners, shop owners and the council.
Pressure group, Save Our Green Lanes (SOGL), has fought furiously against the segregation scheme, including (unsuccessfully) through the courts.
Robert Hayward, Tory councillor for Southgate and Shadow member for the Environment is pushing for compensation for affected businesses.
Mr Hayward said: “It is obvious that this Labour led council is not going to stop Cycle Enfield and the damage it is doing to our shops and businesses. I am calling for compensation from the council for all shops that have lost income.”
An Enfield Council spokesperson said:
“Cycle Enfield is a once in a lifetime opportunity to rejuvenate the Borough and dramatically improve our town centres for generations to come. To that end there is an inevitable degree of disruption while the works are being carried out - as there is with all major construction projects.
"Nonetheless, we are committed to completing the Cycle Enfield works as rapidly as possible - and to the highest standards - and are in regular dialogue with our contractors in this regard, and thank residents and businesses for their patience during this period.
"However, any business that believes it has been detrimentally impacting during the construction period should apply to the Valuation Office Agency for possible Business Rate relief.”