A couple who run a flower shop at Moor Street Station estimate that they would have to pay up to £26000 a year in order to keep up with the terms of Chiltern Railway’s new lease. In November last year, Alan and Jackie Harley were told to evict if they did not comply with the new terms of lease by providing some services for free.
Alan Harley, aged 56 years, claims that in order to provide free services, they would have to bear all the costs themselves. “We would have to pay for fertilisers and the cost of replacing the plants they (Chiltern Railways) does not like at the station. We would also pay for any vandalism that affects plants and trees in the station. Currently, we are paying £3000 a year in rent to Chiltern Railways for the small kiosk we run, but now we would have to pay a lot more, or leave.” Harley also said that he would have to begin charging his customers more to match his costs.
They were given an eviction notice to leave the premises by 27 February. The couple then put up a petition on Change.org to gather support and raise awareness. So far, the petition has gathered more than 7000 signatures and immense community support, with train commuters offering their support as well.
A spokesperson for Chiltern Railways has said that they intend to work with tenants to ensure a high quality service is delivered.