Isambard’s Cycles protest fines against small businesses in online petition

Pic: Diane Label

Isambard’s Cycles in Tower Hamlets Pic: Isambard’s Cycles

Isambard’s Cycles, an independent bike shop on Bethnal Green Road, has called on Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs to revoke what they claim are “arbitrary and punitive measures” that could drive them out of business.

The East London bike shop was fined in early November for displaying goods in front of their shop that were “obstructing the public highway”. After an unsuccessful appeal, they launched an online petition and wrote an open letter written to Biggs.

In the petition,  the cycle shop appeal to Tower Hamlets Council to reduce restrictions on small business in the borough which, they say, are pushing “many businesses already struggling to afford skyrocketing rents, rates and bills, into bankruptcy”. So far, the petition has gained more than 1,500 signatures, with support from other business owners as well local residents.

Sarah Breese, owner of Isambar’s Cycles, told Eastlondonlines: “We are extremely heartened that others care as much as we do. Any council’s primary responsibility is the well-being of its residents.”

Councillor Joshua Peck, the cabinet member for work and economic growth in Tower Hamlets, and Rushanara Ali, Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, have both agreed to meet with Breese and her partner, Tim James, who also owns the shop.

“This isn’t just about us and a few bikes, this is about admission at a policy level that small businesses are a formative and essential part of the fabric and future of the borough, and not a blight that need eradicating from it,” said Breese.

Eastlondonlines is currently waiting for comment from the council.


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