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Shop owner's protest sees him go to bed in middle of roadworks

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AN EMBATTLED Purley business owner says he may have lost up to £30,000 in turnover due to roadworks outside his store.

Jerry Cheshire's Surrey Beds is next to the section of Old Lodge Lane being dug up to improve traffic flow at the junction.

This week he vented his frustration by dragging one of his beds out into the road and staging a lie-in protest.

The Transport for London (TfL) project started on June 15 and is expected to run through to the middle of September.

Mr Cheshire said he depended on delivery lorries and passing trade, making his arguably the worst affected of the small parade of shops near the works.

He said: "During the first week we probably did not see very many customers at all. But as people are realising they can still park here and that it is still open they are starting to come back again. But the frustration is there is no allowance for businesses owners.

"TfL have said there is no precedent for compensation and if you want to contact our lawyers please do and this is our legal department.

"The council have sort of failed to take any responsibility because it is not their project. But I am a ratepayer."

He said the council had, however, agreed to defer until early next year two months' business rates payments.

He added: "I think we have probably lost about £30,000 turnover. It is not until you have looked back on the annual figures that you can really tell the full facts of it.

"And of course we are making an assumption that business would have been about the same as it was this time last year."

Surrey Beds has been in Old Lodge Lane since 2001 and has another store in Sutton.

Mr Cheshire added: "The roadworks needed to be done – I am not disputing the fact that they will improve the junction.

"I am just frustrated, really.

"I want people to know we are tough and getting on with things despite all the obstacles that they put in our way." A council spokeswoman confirmed the authority had allowed Mr Cheshire to defer business rates but said responsibility for the works lay with TfL.

No one from TfL was available to comment by the time the Advertiser went to press.

Shop owner's protest sees him go to bed in middle of roadworks


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