Traders threatened by the refurbishment of the railway arches say Network Rail’s decision to push back the eviction date has offered them no comfort.
Yesterday the affected tenants received a letter informing them that Network Rail will not be serving eviction notices until September, with no one being asked to vacate before March 2016.
However, traders say the news does not help them.
“Although it is a small weight off our shoulders knowing we have a little more time to prepare,” Jose Cordoso from A & C Continental Deli said, “everything is pretty much the same as before.”
“Network Rail have obviously realised their original time frame was unrealistic and have made a practical decision to push it back. This is not about making concessions to us.”
He added that reading the rest of letter showed that the position of the threatened businesses remains unchanged.
“It all means nothing if at the end we are still told we will have to pay rents three times what we’re paying now.”
Lorne Mash from Mash & Sons agreed that nothing had progressed for the local shopkeepers.
“You read their letters and they present it as if everything is rosy but it is meaningless. No date was set in stone before and no date is set in stone now, we’re still in limbo.”
“We won’t give up the fight but it is exhausting, we’re constantly looking over our shoulders in fear for when it is written down in black and white and we have to leave and can’t return.”
The petition calling for Network Rail to stop the evictions has been signed by over 20,000 people, you can add your name here.