“So filthy”: Finchley Road business owners demand action from TfL

TfL's filthy glass panels in Finchley Road

TfL's filthy glass panels in Finchley Road - Credit: Saskia Rowlands

Business owners in Finchley Road are calling on TFL to clean the “filthy” glass partition which runs past their shops. 

Rohit Patel, who owns Paper Art gift shop on the Finchley Road, says the lack of upkeep is discouraging shoppers from coming to the area. 

He told the Ham&High: “I've been here since 1983 and it’s been cleaned probably four times in the last 36 years.

“It’s so filthy, so dirty, it puts people off from coming in to the parade.”

The parade of shops in Finchley Road

The parade of shops in Finchley Road - Credit: Saskia Rowlands

Rohit said he has called TfL on multiple occasions and written a letter, but says he has been rebuffed.

“TfL say they are not responsible anymore, all of a sudden. They have passed the buck to Camden council, but nobody has ever come back to me”, he said.

“So who am I supposed to talk to? You can’t even talk to anybody on the phone anymore.”

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TfL told the Ham&High it "will be carrying out a deep clean as soon as possible".

The glass panel, which runs along the Finchley Road between Fairfax Road and Waitrose, was put up in the 1970s after the road was raised.

The purpose of the glass was to allow drivers to see the shops as they pass by, but business owners say customers are being driven away.

TfL's filthy glass panels in Finchley Road

TfL's filthy glass panels in Finchley Road - Credit: Saskia Rowlands

Simon Bowrey, who owns Snappy Snaps, said: “TFL have really neglected the area — they don’t clean the glass partition between the road and the shops so cars driving past don’t actually get to see what's available, so they won’t stop and shop.”

Bowrey, who has owned the business for 33 years, says the glass panel is one of many problems on the road.

“There's no street lighting over the pavement side, so people don’t really want to come down here in the early evening because its quite dark and gloomy. I just feel that TfL could do a lot more”, he said. 

A TfL spokesperson said: “Our maintenance teams work hard to ensure that infrastructure across the TfL road network is kept in a good state of repair. Our team has visited the Finchley Road site to look into the issues reported and will be carrying out a deep clean as soon as possible.”

TfL's glass panels in Finchley Road, between the road and the shops

TfL's glass panels in Finchley Road, between the road and the shops - Credit: Saskia Rowlands