03:18PM, Thursday 05 March 2020
A cafe owner says she is being ‘passed from pillar to post’ over the future of her business.
Claire Bland runs the railway cafe in Station Road with her dad Peter but the pair have been forced to shut up shop since December.
The cafe was damaged in a car collision last year but repairs to the structure are out of Claire’s hands.
The building is owned by Network Rail (NR), and Great Western Railway (GWR) receives rent money from Claire, having leased it from NR.
She is now unsure whether she will be able to reopen her beloved family-run business, adding the firms are ‘not rushing’ the repair job.
It is not known when anything will be done about the rebuild, but Claire wants to reopen the cafe if she is able.
Claire, who has been at the cafe for more than 20 years, said: “I am banging my head against a brick wall. I do not know where I am going.
“It is just little old me fighting against these big companies. I am passing from pillar to post.”
She added: “I am concerned about my elderly customers. They have not got much money to go and buy a breakfast [elsewhere] in Bourne End. We just miss the whole community. We want to save the cafe if we can.”
A GWR spokesman said: “Given the extent of the damage to the building, we are working with our partners at Network Rail to realise a viable way forward to reinstate a cafe at the station.”
Network Rail did not respond to a request for comment before the Advertiser went to press.
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