The London neighbourhood that feels like a graveyard individuals worry will turn out to be ghost city as ULEZ and value of residing hit onerous

The London neighbourhood that sounds like a graveyard people fear will become ghost town as ULEZ and cost of living hit hard

Traders and residents in a North London neighbourhood fear the cost of living crisis and ULEZ expansion could turn their area into a ghost town. As customers tighten their belts, businesses in Headstone are losing custom as they struggle not to pass on the rising costs.

The town in the north west of Harrow is mostly known for its Overground station Headstone Lane, and its 14th century Grade II listed moated manor house and museum, Headstone Manor. But it is mainly a quiet residential area with small family run shops and independent businesses, meaning it’s arguably more susceptible to the impacts of a loss of trade and increased costs.

Sital, 53, owns and runs the local Post Office on Long Elmes and says the combination of the soaring cost of living and Ultra Low Emissions Zone has been “very impactful” on both his business and his home life. He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “It’s ridiculous, my bills have doubled.”

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Sital, who runs the Post Office, said businesses like his are struggling not to pass on rising costs to customers(Image: Facundo Arrizabalaga/MyLondon)

The electricity bill at the Post Office has gone from £3,000 a month to £8,000 so Sital has had to find ways of being more cost effective, which has included downsizing his fridges and freezers. He hasn’t wanted to raise prices in the shop in case his customers are priced out and go elsewhere.

Sital makes a set margin of 20 per cent on wholesale prices but that is being eaten into by costs rising elsewhere. He said: “Everything’s going up, bills, rent, everything, but the amount of takings are going down.”

He added: “I can understand that people don’t have a lot of money to spend. I can’t really expect them to buy anything as they can’t afford it. It affects people in different ways; in this area people have been hit hard and they’re definitely a lot tighter in their spending.”

Headstone in the north-west of Harrow is known for its Overground station and 14th century Grade II listed moated manor house(Image: Facundo Arrizabalaga/MyLondon)

Residents and business owners are really feeling the pinch from the cost of living(Image: Facundo Arrizabalaga/MyLondon)


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