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Crossrail works hit East London businesses

PUBLISHED: 13:19 31 October 2012 | UPDATED: 13:19 31 October 2012

(L-R) Business owners from Tip Toe Appliances  Ali and Bob Jaffri and M&G Building Supplies owner Sarfaraz Loonat are furious as their trade is down due to the closure of Cambridge Heath Road.

(L-R) Business owners from Tip Toe Appliances Ali and Bob Jaffri and M&G Building Supplies owner Sarfaraz Loonat are furious as their trade is down due to the closure of Cambridge Heath Road.

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Business-owners say trade has plummeted as a result of road closures caused by Crossrail engineering works.

Business-owners say trade has plummeted as a result of road closures caused by Crossrail engineering works.

Cambridge Heath Road is closed to traffic in both directions until November 11, with works at the junction with Mile End Road and Whitechapel Road expected to continue until the end of the year.

Traders in the area say they have suffered as a result of the works. Ali Rahman, who has run a vegetable stall with his son in Mile End Road for seven years, says he has not been able to open for business since work started in September.

He is not expecting to be able to start trading again until work finishes in the area at the end of the year at the earliest.

“It’s been a problem for everyone”, said Mr Rahman.

“I am just waiting for them to finish, then I can start up my business again. How do I survive?”

Muhammad Miah, who owns minicab business Eagle Cars, said trade has been down around 30 per cent since work on the Crossrail project began in the area.

Patrick Mulligan, landlord at The White Hart pub on the corner of Cambridge Heath and Mile End Road had also been experiencing problems. He said: “It’s really affected us. Two crossings have been cut off, and it’s hemmed us in.”

Mr Mulligan, whose main supplier was refusing to deliver due to the works, said he was looking into the option of seeking compensation from Crossrail.

A Crossrail spokeswoman said: “Crossrail is sensitive to the concerns of local businesses and has met with them to discuss their concerns. Crossrail has also worked closely with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to reduce the impact on the local community.

“This has included ensuring pedestrian access is maintained to local businesses and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets offering alternative pitches for market traders.

“We would like to apologise for the effect our works are having on the community.”

Transport for London confirmed the closure of Cambridge Heath Road in both directions has also affected bus services, adding around 10 minutes to journeys along routes 106, 254 and N253.

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