DEALERS at Grays antiques centre in central London are fearing further damage to business as the massive Crossrail project at Bond Street enters a new stage this summer.
Traders say that the works, which started last year, have
already caused significant disruption and they are now worried that
the drilling of a large shaft a few yards from the front entrance
of Grays will have a major impact.
Scheduled to start later this month, five 'grout shafts' are
being constructed around the Bond Street area in order to firm up
the ground during tunnelling work. The hole being dug on the corner
of Davies Street and South Molton Lane will be at least 4m wide and
15m deep, and the hoardings required during the excavation period
will be less than two metres from Grays' main entrance.
On top of this there will be the noise, fumes and vibrations
caused as lorries remove large amounts of debris.
With over 100 traders currently operating in the centre, Grays
jewellery dealer Anthea Gesua said: "We have been battling this for
months and now an enormous plant will obliterate access through our
front door. We are surrounded here by Crossrail and are having a
Fellow jewellery dealer Robin Haydock said: "The work has
already affected business and is likely to get worse. It comes in
the middle of the tourist season and so we're being doubly
Signage is also an issue. The dealers want signs directing
shoppers to Grays on the current hoardings made larger and more
attractive - at one point they were handwritten in pen.
Crossrail have already met the centre's landlords where concerns
were raised but a meeting set for this week will allow dealers to
put their case directly.
Crossrail say they are keen to minimise disruption and will
continue to monitor vibration and noise levels. They say the works
on the grout shafts will last for six to eight weeks and that
larger hoardings will only be used during the construction part of
However, the dealers are expecting the works to take longer and
fear that disruption will be an ongoing problem until the Crossrail
project is finished in 2017.
By Alex Capon