The Coffee Traveller cafe’s bike has become a familiar sight on the tow path at Strand on the Green over the past few years.
With flowers on the handlebars and a sign directing people from the river down an alleyway to Thames Rd, it advertises the cafe’s existence to people out for a stroll along the river.
The cafe has recently changed hands. New owner Aziza was contacted out of the blue by Hounslow Highways, to say she had to apply for permission to keep the bike there within 48 hours, or they would remove it.
The bike was an “unauthorised advertisement” they said.
After several hours’ form filling online on Sunday, she and her business partner discovered the application would cost them £366, an amount which they say the cafe can’t afford.
The bike / advert has been an important marketing tool. “To be honest we get a lot of customers because of this bike” says Aziza “It’s a little bit upsetting.”
According to Aziza. the previous owners didn’t have planning permission for it and never had an issue with it. She has a sneaking feeling that someone dobbed her in to the council.
Chairman of Strand on the Green Residents Association Richard Griffith says they had no objection to the bike, as long as she took it in every night. ‘£300+ is a bit OTT’ he told me.
For years the row of shops at Strand on the Green was crying out for a cafe and locals have welcomed the quality coffee and opportunity to sit and chill.
Let’s hope the loss of advertising doesn’t have too much of an adverse affect on custom.
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