Every month or so there is a 'Transport Liason' meeting in Lewisham, which is designed as an opportunity for local amenities societies, councillors and residents to ask questions and raise any concerns with the train and bus companies and TfL. Both Ladywell Society and I asked a question of South-Eastern trains at this week's meeting. My question and the (to my mind) rather unsatisfactory response from South-Eastern trains is below, for info.
Question for South-East trains
I understand that the previous leaseholders for the shop in Ladywell Station gave up the lease a few weeks ago as the rent was raised from £400/month to £1000/month. What plans do you have to re-let the unit? I know also that local residents value being able to get a coffee and newspaper from the station in the morning and will miss it if it remains empty for a long time.
We have duty to maximise revenue from station properties and the rent does reflect the local market. We are actively trying to let the kiosk but if a tenant cannot be found, particularly in the current climate, we may consider reducing the rent.
It seems to me that South-East trains were a little hasty in their decision to more than double the rent, when they didn't have another business lined up to take over. I hope the kiosk gets let soon, but suspect it will be difficult in the current climate. £1,000 rent a month seems an awful lot to me for the location and footfall, but time will tell I guess.
I don't want to be too harsh on South-East trains this week, however, as they have been very co-operative in allowing the Ladywell Christmas Market to take place on their property this weekend. Don't forget to come: 11am-5pm, Saturday 13th December, outside Ladywell Station. Quiz etc to raise money for LVIG in Ladywell Tavern in the evening.