Mayor Boris visiting Gants Hill to mark roundabout relaunch

STRUGGLING Gants Hill business owners are keeping their fingers crossed the end of 14-month long roadworks will lead to a turn around in fortunes as Mayor of London Boris Johnson gets ready to visit.

Traders have seen a steep fall in profits since workmen began overhauling Gants Hill roundabout in July last year.

Now, with the roadworks complete and Mr Johnson coming to the area to put his official seal on the revamp tomorrow, businesses are hoping people will start coming back to Gants Hill after steering clear for so many months.

Gants Hill Super Foods, Woodford Avenue, has lost nearly �3,000 a week in trade since the Transport for London (TfL) works began.

Off-licence manager Ranu Jagan, 32, said: “When they diverted the buses, all our customers went to other places so we’ve lost a lot of business. We’re really struggling.

He added: “We’re hoping the end of the roadworks will bring people back to Gants Hill.

“We can’t afford to lose any more so we’re putting maximum effort in.”

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Enzo Tavoussi, of pizzeria Enzo’s, said he was looking forward to the area getting back to normal after what he described as “an absolute nightmare”.

“We are particularly looking forward to the Mayor’s visit on Friday which is the cherry on the cake,” he added.

The roundabout works have included the creation of new pedestrian crossings and walkways and spill-out areas outside businesses.

Workmen packed up yesterday, with new traffic lights controlling traffic using the roundabout being switched on.

A spokesman for TfL said the phasing of the lights had been worked on, and any further tweaks needed once they are in use would be made if necessary.

Mr Johnson will meet traders during a walkabout of the revamped area and unveil a plaque to mark his visit.

Tomorrow will also mark the start of a three-day craft market.