Fitzrovia business owner says high rents and rates, and Crossrail delay, is putting her business at risk

A Fitzrovia shop owner appeared on BBC’s Inside Out London programme this week to explain how the delay in the opening of Crossrail is affecting her business.

Man and woman talking in shop.

Rowena Howie tells BBC reporter Tom Edwards that she is paying a Crossrail premium without the benefits in return.

Rowena Howie told BBC reporter Tom Edwards that she opened her shop Revival Retro in Fitzrovia in the hope that her business would benefit from the opening of the Elizabeth Line at Tottenham Court Road station.

She says that the rent and rates on her shop in Windmill Street were put up in anticipation of Crossrail opening but she hasn’t had the benefit of extra customers because the opening has been delayed.

“I’m in a catch-22 because the rent and rates have gone up based upon the fact that Crossrail should have opened but I’m not getting any of the extra benefit so I’m finding it hard to afford.

“If it doesn’t open by late 2020 or early 2021 my business is absolutely at risk,” she said.

Tottenham Court Road station was supposed to open in December 2018 but now Crossrail say it will open sometime between October 2020 and March 2021.

Inside Out London, 16 September 2019. Tom Edwards investigates the chaos being caused by Crossrail delays.

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