An Archway barber whose business is suffering due to the closure of Holloway Road has been banned from putting out a sandwich board to attract trade.
Greek Cypriot Nick Christophorou, owner of Short Cut Barbers, says Transport for London (TfL) is “killing” his business by preventing him advertising and threatening him with a fine.
He says that he was told the pavement could only be used for TfL road closure signs.
TfL’s last-minute decision to close a stretch of Holloway Road for three months has hit traders, with Mr Christophorou, who has been in business 20 years, saying: “It’s not even worth me opening.”
The road will be completely closed again this weekend.
The transport authority, which is replacing the 100-year-old Upper Holloway Bridge, discovered “unexpectedly complex” utility pipes and wires, leading to the closure between Fairbridge Road and Wedmore Gardens.
A new bridge will allow the electrification of the Gospel Oak to Barking London Overground line, due to reopen in February next year.
Holloway Road will be closed northbound and southbound from 10pm Friday 25 November until 5am on Monday (28 November). After then, just the southbound carriageway will be closed until December 24, when both northbound and southbound lanes will close until January 16. The bridge will be replaced during this period.
Mr Christophorou, who lives in Archway, said his trade had dropped by 75 per cent.
“The sandwich board makes a big difference because I’ve only got a small shop,” he said.
“TfL only gave us two weeks’ notice, which wasn’t enough, so we didn’t have time to put away money to pay the rent.
The 44-year-old added: “I’ve never seen it this bad in 20 years. Walk down Holloway Road at 10am and it’s like Christmas Day.
“I’ve got a good client base but my customers are saying to me: ‘Nick, I can’t come down because there are no buses.’ But I’ve got to open otherwise I lose everything.”
Mr Christophorou has called on TfL to compensate his business. But Jan Tucker, chairwoman of Archway Town Business Group, was told at a public meeting earlier this month that there were no plans to reimburse traders who were losing money as a result of the closure.
TfL said sandwich boards are not allowed on major routes under the Highways Act.
Garrett Emmerson, chief operating officer for surface transport, added: “The work taking place along Holloway Road is essential to the replacement of the bridge.
“We are doing everything we can to complete it as quickly as possible.
“We have worked with local stakeholders, including Short Cut Barbers, to minimise the impacts.
“We remain open to new ideas to improve this further and will continue to respond to all concerns as quickly as possible.”
Source: Islington Tribune