My name is Suki Chung, I’m a mobile massage therapist and a sole trader.
The current road closures are definitely having a negative impact on my business. I have built my business up for the last 15 years and it allows me to have somewhat of a work life balance. It enables me to provide for my kids while also having time to attend the all important school events that come along frequently. While I can’t always attend those, I can make some of them which is hugely important to myself and my kids.
The current road closures have meant that I can no longer utilise the roads as roads. They are a maze. I used to allow up to 45 minutes between clients, but I’ve had to increase that to an hour or an hour and 15 minutes depending on where clients are based.
What does this mean to me? It means less clients I can see in a day and on top of not working for nearly 4 months because of the pandemic, it’s hit me hard. The drop in income is significant.
Many of my clients see me for long term chronic medical issues and massage helps them manage their pain levels, so they are not on increasing amounts of stronger and stronger pain killers. These are not frivolous treatments of ‘ladies that lunch’, but a way for people to stay out of pain.
It seems insanely unfair that so few people benefit from the road closures, I personally can’t whizz round on a bike with a massage couch and a suitcase full of kit with me.
Even clients on the roads that are benefiting from the eased traffic think its ridiculous and unfair.
Most of us walk where we can, but people like me, tradespeople, people with disabilities and a myriad of others can’t just walk or ride a bike for whatever reason.
It’s so badly thought out, forcing traffic onto the already busy roads increasing pollution to people living there. What about their health? Traffic unfortunately doesn’t just disappear in a puff of smoke because there are road closures, we still have to get where we’re going, we just sit idling in traffic for longer periods of time, thus probably causing more pollution, not less.
These are the views of a local resident who is not part of the group behind the One Lewisham campaign. We are using our blog to highlight local voices who have concerns or are personally impacted by the LTN as implemented. To share your own story, drop us an email. For more on One Lewisham’s campaign goals see Our Mission. Register as a support and sign up to our newsletter here, or ‘like’ our Facebook page.