After 18 years of business at the railway station, selling hot drinks, newspapers and snacks Monday to Saturday, Mohammad Asif Minhas, 60, was was ordered by South West Trains to “move from the premises of Egham Station” by Christmas Eve. Knowing full well that Mr Minhas usually closes for business on Christmas Eve and reopens after New Year, South West Trains forced the vendor to sign an agreement stating the company could evict him from the spot with six months notice: which they did.
A spokesman for South West Trains clarified that “As part of plans to deliver major improvements for customers at Egham station, we are introducing a new ‘Access for All’ funded toilet facility and automatic entrance doors to the main entrance and platform side of the station building.’ The current shop facility in platform one will also remain.
However, many commuters preferred to start there journey at Minhas’ shop, Stanwell Moor Village resident, Nicholas Murphy, said he visited the kiosk three to four times per week “They may call it progress, but progress it is not, rather another example of greed and an attempt to enrich the company to the detriment not just of the passengers and others who use the kiosk, but of the community.”
Mohammed is now left worried: “At this stage what am I going to do? I can’t claim my pension, I’m not going to get any benefit. I’m going to look for another business.” Councillor Nick Prescot, for Englefield Green West, said he uses the station daily and would be writing to South West Trains about the decision.