Shop owners claim they have been left in the dark about Barking station development
- Credit: Basit Mahmood
Shop owners at Barking station have given a mixed reaction to proposed plans for a new development that aims to bring about major improvements to facilities and passenger capacity.
Rail operator c2c, the company responsible for maintaining the station, are owned by Italy’s nationalised rail provider Trenitalia and have been consulting closely with tenants to keep them informed of development plans.
Although the plans have not been fully confirmed as of yet, the Post has learnt from shop owners about some of the suggested proposals.
These include the building of escalators to take commuters to the station platforms as well as coffee stalls outside the building, and the aim of bringing in a number of big retail stores to the area.
Narendra Lodhia, 66, has run Station Jewellers for the past 30 years along with his wife Kuman Lodhia, 67 and has said that although there had been much discussion around the development of Barking station for a number of years, he was sad to hear of the news.
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Mr Lodhia has claimed that initially he was told he would have to leave by December 2018 but that now the date has been pushed back until March 2019. However he still intends to leave before Christmas.
He said: “It is sad to go from Barking, I’ve been here for a long time. We are a family jewellers, two of us are going to be out of work.”
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Mr Lodhia has said that he has been told he could reapply for a unit once the station development is completed and although he personally won’t be reapplying, members of his family may well do so.
Café owner Michel Bouroubia, 53, who runs Couleur Café said although he knew that there would be a day when the station would undergo a transformation given its age and appearance, he didn’t really know when it would occur.
He said: “Nobody knows when they will officially move.”
He added: “I’ve been told I can reapply for a unit and I hope I will be given it.”
Café manager of Ezo Bistro, Nerijus Latakus said he welcome the development and was glad to see it happening.
A c2c spokesman said: “Throughout the design process we have been liaising closely with our tenants and they will all get the opportunity to bid for one of the new retail units once we have finalised the design.”