A supermarket which has been in business for 45 years and and is believed to be the oldest Asian food shop on Cowley Road may be forced to close due to the effect of LTNs, say its owners.

Eastern and Continental Store has been run by Mohammed Mehrbun with his wife and family and two staff, since 1978.

But a heartbroken Mr Mehrbun said he may soon have no option but to shut up shop after the divisive traffic reduction scheme badly damaged his business.

Mr Mehrbun put a notice on Facebook: “Sadly due to the LTN Scheme forcefully imposed on East Oxford I have no option but to close the shop due to a drop in shop sales and inconvenience to my local customers. Thank you for your support."

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Overnight he received hundreds of supportive comments.

He said: “My trade is almost 40 per cent down and after the [Quickways] cycle scheme comes in in August we will have no customers at all.

"At the moment we have a bit of parking on the road. A lot of our customers drive. The things we sell, Continental and ethnic foods, are specialized and people drive here specially to buy them. And we have loyal customers, they don’t want to go anywhere else."

He added: "All my life I’ve worked here and we are so happy. It’s almost a hobby, I really enjoy it, and everyone comes here. I want to work, I don’t want to be at home, but if we carry on like this we can’t go on. We don’t want to close.

"And when the Quickways scheme comes in, what will happen then? There was a demonstration the other day and the council are still not listening at all.

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"I’m sad and I’m angry because we’ve been here so many years – we opened on August 4 1978.

"Our last hope is that the open up the LTN. I won’t close tomorrow but I’m worried what will happen. I worry it about all the time. We all do. It’s not only this shop, there’s so many others.

"I put the notice up last night and since then I’ve had 250 comments of support already.

"No one is happy and we don’t know what to do."

Oxfordshire County Council hopes the LTNs will make streets safer and reduce pollution and the first informal consultation showed that 75 per cent of respondents were in favour of Quickways.

A statement said: “This was followed by a formal consultation that ran alongside a traffic regulation order, which showed that over 60 per cent of respondents were in favour of quickways.

“We will continue to listen to and respond to questions received from members of the public.

“The quickways and east Oxford LTNs are being installed simultaneously to minimise disruptions for residents and businesses in the area.”



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