Traders in the arches owned by Network Rail in Atlantic Road and Brixton Station Road have been told, in a solicitor’s letter, to get out by Friday 19 August this year.
Ray Murphy of Budget Carpets said the letter, from Newcastle upon Tyne firm Bond Dickinson, had come like a letter of execution for a prisoner on death row. It says: “We must clarify that Network Rail are not able to increase any compensation offers under any circumstances”.
Network Rail had warned the traders to expect a letter in mid-January setting out details of planned refurbishment of the arches which, it claims, means they must be vacated.
Traders are now considering their next moves and plan to meet on Friday evening to discuss their campaign which has seen Network Rail change its original approach, with an apparent “consultation” and promises that the traders will be able to return.
But the uncertainty its plans have generated have already been a factor in the closure of A&C Deli, a long-time Brixton institution, whose shop is now used by the Brixton Pound.
Murphy urged supporters of the traders to publicise this latest move by Network Rail to force the company to act responsibly towards its small tenants and Brixton itself.