Sussex rail strikes: Independent café owner forced to shut for the week

Barren railway platforms have left an independent café owner has been left with no customers, forcing him to close.

Huseyin Ay, owner of H&M Coffee at Chichester Railway Station, said his small businesses will be hugely affected by this week’s rail strikes.

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Mr Ay has described the situation as ‘unfair’ and said he still has to pay rent, staff and bills amid the ongoing cost of living crisis.

H&M Coffee based at Chichester Railway Station

He told Sussex World today (Tuesday, June 21): “Obviously there are no passengers and no business for us. We have to close the shop but what do we expect from them? This is for a few days and I hope it is rent free as part of the compensation.

"It is not our fault. Previously it has been like this and these have taken such a long time – I didn’t get any money then.

"No, it’s not fair at all – we are just a very small business and we won’t have any income for the strike period and I have staff to pay and bills to pay. Every day costs me a certain amount of money.

"It’s a nationwide strike so it’s not Southern Railway. It’s frustrating really.”

Asked about the affect of the cost of living crisis on his business in recent months, Mr Ay said: “Everyone is in the same situation but in this period we have got to live with it.

"Last year milk would cost us £1 and now it’s £1.40. That’s a 40 per cent increase.”