Bus stop bay threatens Tom's fishmonger trade
PUBLISHED: 18:55 07 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:06 05 October 2010
A TRADITIONAL fishmonger fears his business could go to the dogs because of bus stop bureaucrats at City Hall. Customers are being driven away from George s Plaice shop in Roman Road in London s East End Market, after a spate of parking fines
By Ted Jeory
A TRADITIONAL fishmonger fears his business could go to the dogs because of bus stop bureaucrats at City Hall.
Customers are being driven away from George's Plaice shop in Roman Road in London's East End Market, after a spate of parking fines.
Fishmonger Tom Disson, 71, feels it is typical of a 'bureaucratic and money-grabbing' attitude that's killing off the market as well as other small, family-run shops like his.
It centres on extensions to bus stop road markings that have been extended about 30ft to some 75ft, right outside his serving hatch.
Tom and his 'passing trade' customers used to use that space for popping into the shop.
But many have been fined up to £100 after they were spotted momentarily leaving their vehicles by spy cameras o hidden in a nearby lamp-post operated by Tower Hamlets council.
He has now put up his own 'warning' sign next to eels, roe shrimps and other fresh fish in his serving hatch.
But he believes he shouldn't have to do that because the bus marking extension is never used by the Number 8, D6 and 339 buses that stop there.
Instead, they all pull up where they always have, at the actual bus stop itself 45ft short of his fishmonger's.
Transport for London insists the extension is required to give bus drivers 'room' to pull out and prevent parked cars blocking them in.
But the buses rarely, if ever, use that space to pull out.
Tom suggests a compromise, replacing the extended markings with a single yellow line and limited loading times.
But when the Advertiser put that suggestion to Transport for London, a City Hall said "no," then cited the Disability Discrimination Act.
Their spokeswoman said: "The buses using this stand are 10 metres (30ft) in length.
"There needs to be around seven to eight metres (24ft aprox) in front of the bus to allow it to pull away from a stop safely.
"The bus has to be able to pull in to the pavement in compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act."
But in a later statement, the City Hall spokeswoman admitted the rules on bus stop lengths were sometimes relaxed for 'local' reasons.
Tom Disson, who has helped run the fishmonger's for 26 years, said: "It's like banging your head against a brick wall with these people.
"My trade has really been affected by this.
"But all they care about is money, not small shops like ours. They're really killing the area."
London Assembly member John Biggs and Tower Hamlets councillor Josh Peck are now taking up his cause to see if they can help.