Campaign to save much-loved bed shop

Earlier this year, Big Table, in Great Western Road, was told it would have to close after almost 30 years for an electricity substation to be built on the site to power Crossrail trains.

Kim Macrory and Steve Bond, co-directors of Big Table, were first told in June to leave by September 28 but since then, have been given a stay of execution until at least the end of January.

The exact date is due to be confirmed by October 28.

Today, a 1,100-signature petition against the proposal is due to be handed to Transport for London (TfL), which is overseeing the Crossrail project with the government’s Department for Transport.

Murad Qureshi, a Labour member of the London Assembly who will submit the petition, said: "The threat of losing this thriving local business has prompted over 1,000 local residents to sign a petition asking for the site to be spared and be allowed to continue to trade.

"The site has a distinctive grandeur about it and its demise would be a terrible loss for the area economically, architecturally and historically.

"Is there really no alternative site to house the substation?"

When completed in 2018, Crossrail will provide a new rail link between Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west and Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

A Crossrail spokeswoman said: "We are sensitive to the concerns of the Big Table and have been liaising closely with them to identify alternative premises.

"Crossrail is making every effort to enable the business to stay at its leased premises for as long as possible and earlier this summer we agreed to extend the leaving date from September this year to January 2012.

"The land owned by Network Rail and leased by Big Table is adjacent to the busy Great Western main line and is of vital importance to the Crossrail project as it will house a substation to power our trains.

"The electricity substation needs to be located in close proximity to the Crossrail tunnels."

* A public meeting about plans for the Big Table site will be held at Paddington Arts, in Woodfield Road, at 7.30pm on November 9.

Anyone is welcome to attend.

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