West London café owners claim to have lost about £15,000 due to HS2 construction
HS2 construction on Victoria Road in West London has led to businessmen Abdul Lambarky, 39, and Ali Lambarky,25, express their disappointment as their business has seen a drastic loss since the work on a station nearby started.
The owners of a small hundred-year-old West London café are claimed to have missed out on £15,000 worth of profits. Abdul, who has held the lease for the Old Oak Café, told MyLondon that new customers which will be brought by the new Old Oak Common station linking the national and Transport for London services near Acton will help in the future. However, he is worried about the performance of the business at present.
Abdul stresses that the arrival of its anticipated benefits will take a long time. His business, in the meantime, has faced considerable disruptions due to access restrictions and the replacement of outdoor seating caused by HS2, which has been contentious topic for several years with a new high-speed rail line from London to the North-West being built.
The management of HS2 sites has been undertaken by Skanska Costain STRABAG, the London Tunnels Contractor, operating in a joint venture. Project officials have acknowledged to MyLondon that the road and sidewalk adjacent to the Old Oak Café have been utilised for utilities diversions, resulting in restricted access to the café and the removal of decking at the front of the premises.
Abdul said, “This here is private land, but they damaged it and I’ve had to be closed for days. I’ve made big claims to them but I’ve had no response from them. It [the station] will be a good thing, but before the good things there have been lots of negative effects.
“I’m speaking to you because I’m a business owner but for one and a half years it has been too much.
“After, you get good things but there have been too many issues. I’ve lost about £15,000 and I’ve made more than 30 claims to them. I’m going to go to court.
“For about two or three months I didn’t get a reply from them. Now I’m going to take a further step. HS2 is a very big company, they don’t care for the small businesses. You try to do something but they don’t care.”
HS2 Ltd and its contractor SCS JV have said that they are in touch with Abdul regarding his claims and trying to find a solution to his problem. A spokesperson said: “We support any business directly impacted by the construction of HS2 and have a dedicated stakeholder team to do so.
“Where a business is impacted by our work, there are a number of mechanisms to deal with claims, including the HS2 small claims process. We remain in contact with Mr Lambarky and are dealing with his claim.”
Abdul’s brother, Ali told MyLondon, “For me this place is going to be the busiest place. It’s going to be like the centre of London. It’s good, it’s good for London and internationally as well.”
When asked if he expects more customers to visit the cafe, he added, “Yes, those who say this is wasting money just want to complain. For me it’s going to be good for other businesses here too, it’s going to be busy. This place, especially in Acton town it’s going to be good for them as well.”
An HS2 spokesperson said, “We support any business directly impacted by the construction of HS2 and have a dedicated stakeholder team to do so. Where a business is impacted by our work, there are a number of mechanisms to deal with claims, including the HS2 small claims process. We remain in contact with Mr Lambarky and are dealing with his claim.”