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West End businesses lose £12m in sales due to Extinction Rebellion protests

Lauretta Roberts
17 April 2019

Parts of central London have been brought to standstill over the past two days by protests organised by activists from Extinction Rebellion, costing businesses in the West End £12m in lost trade.

The climate change protests have mainly been focused around Oxford Circus and retailers in the area report a drop in footfall of 25%, as well as difficulties for staff in reaching their places of work.

Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of New West End Company, which represents businesses in the area said the disruption came at a difficult time for retailers and called for the police and London Mayor Sadiq Khan to "get a grip" of the situation.

"Obviously retail is going through quite a difficult time at the moment so it's hugely disruptive, so we call on the Mayor and the Met to really grip this, get control and stop this disruption in the West End," he said when he made an appearance on BBC London News today.

Tyrrell said he fully respected the right to peaceful protests but said that allowing central London to be brought to a standstill for such a long time was not acceptable. The protesters have been targeting transport today with some protesters gluing themselves to Docklands Light Railway trains.

Last Friday Oxford Circus was brought to a standstill as protesters staged a catwalk style event against throwaway fashion. 

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