Two thirds of businesses on Addiscombe high street say they’ve received no information about support open to them since the closure of Blackhorse Lane Bridge.
Blackhorse Lane Bridge has been closed since August 2016 when safety concerns were raised over its corroding structure. Repairs were initially due to be completed by November 2018, but in October 2018 we learned opening was delayed until early 2020 – leaving the bridge closed for at least four years.
The extended closure is threatening the very survival of our local high street, diverting traffic outside of the community and hitting footfall. A number of SMEs have permanently shut up shop as a direct result of the delayed re-opening and the lack of known Council support.
Addiscombe businesses have been entitled to receive significant rate relief from the Council since December 2016. 26 local businesses say they’ve received no information about this. Only two have received any form of rate relief.
In addition, more than half of those surveyed say they were not aware of any public meetings designed to promote offers of support.
In the survey, local entrepreneurs say:
- “I’m not sure we can recover from this even once the bridge reopens.”
- “We've lost over 30% of our customers since the bridge closed. Every business in Addiscombe has!”
- “This Business Rates Relief wouldn't cover the damage the extended closure of the bridge has caused anyway.”
- “Workers on the bridge are giving me different dates for when works will finish to the Council. Who would know best?”
The office of Labour MP Sarah Jones is based on the top of Blackhorse Bridge. When asked how satisfied they were about the support they received from Sarah, Addiscombe’s businesses gave her a dismal 1.5 out of 10.
When asked how satisfied they were about the aide offered by Croydon’s Labour-run Council, local businesses gave the Council a pathetic 0.75 out of 10.
Local Councillor Jeet Bains commented: “It is very clear that Labour do not care about local businesses in Addiscombe. Businesses haven't even been sent basic information about financial help they are entitled to. And there is no end in sight to the closure of Blackhorse Lane bridge: it stands as a pitifully enduring monument to Labour's failure.”
Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Croydon Central, Mario Creatura, said: “The prolonged closure of Blackhorse Bridge is threatening the survival of Addiscombe High Street and causing misery for thousands of local residents.
“Every agency responsible for the bridge is run by Labour. Our Labour Council is failing to provide adequate support to struggling local traders; our Labour MP refuses to use her position to help residents, despite her office being right in the middle of the construction works; and our Labour Mayor of London is failing to get a grip on the overrunning construction works.
“Addiscombe and Woodside need aid now more than ever – it’s about time Labour listened to the local people, did their job and helped to save our high street.”