Small business owners forced to take out loans to survive
Original Publication: Islington Now, 11th December 2015
Shop owners around Tufnell Park tube station shared how their businesses have suffered since the station closed for lift replacements in June.
Ramazan Soyler, owner of the Moonlight Cafe located opposite the Northern Line station, said: “There used to be ten people coming out of the station, and maybe one or two would come in and get tea or a sandwich.”
“Now there’s no-one. I’ve had to borrow £8,000 from friends and family to stay open. I can’t go on like this.”
Tufnell Park Market, which has run every Saturday on Tufnell Park Road for over three years, is losing both customers and stalls.
Market co-manager Saira Baker said the closure “has put a real dent in the market.”
She added: “We’ve had over 50 per cent less business, as people go to Archway or Kentish Town instead.”
The station is not due to reopen until March 2016.
Islington Council’s response to Transport For London’s decision to close the station has been one of anger and dismay. Councillor Satnam Gill said: “I don’t understand what’s going on, why it takes nine months to install a couple of lifts. We tried to get TfL to compensate local traders, and they refused to do that. TfL are a law unto themselves.”
TfL spokesperson Gareth Powell said that he understood the station’s closure would cause disruption but that ultimately “everyone will benefit from new, more reliable lifts.”
TfL have also announced they will close the nearby Caledonian Road Underground Station for lift replacements in January for eight months.