Newsagents plans to hand over kiosk on March Railway Station hits the buffers

NEWSAGENTS Peter and Maureen Wright have had their retirement plans derailed after being banned from handing on their popular kiosk on March Railway Station.

The couple will retire on Christmas Eve after 37 years on the station without the financial package they expected. They have sold the newspaper and magazine delivery part of the business but that must operate from new premises.

Mr Wright said: “We feel bitter and sad that it has had to end like this. We are not getting the return we thought after 37 years, obviously we thought we would get some remuneration for the kiosk.”

In July Mr and Mr Wright announced they were selling up and retiring. However, prospective buyers were told by railway property agent Lambert Smith Hampton that negotiations were in hand with a preferred tenant for the kiosk.

That decision stands despite protests from the Friends of March Station and other individuals. The lease for the kiosk does not expire until May next year and cannot be handed on by the Wrights. They believe they have been given a “raw deal” by the property agent.

Mr Wright said: “I have had a very good rapport with the passengers using the station and if I wasn’t doing a good job they would not have supported me.”

Running the delivery business from 9 Dartford Road will be Jason McCrudden and Sarah Godbold. They will be recruiting more delivery people ensuring customers receive newspapers early in the day.

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Miss Godbold said: “Our original intention was to continue the business at its current location but unfortunately we are unable to do so. We were informed by the agent that another company had already been accepted by the landlord to set up a kiosk at the railway station.

“The other business was in the process of finalising the deal and from what we understand we were too late. Although our business proposal was very good and attractive, the landlord could not accept ours on the grounds of being in direct competition to the other company. That is the only reason why we are moving to Dartford Road.”

The couple have moved from Peterborough to March to take over the business and are already getting used to the 4am starts. Mr Wright is helping them with the transfer of the business.

Their business, Country Views. will be open for counter sales on Saturdays.

A spokesman for Lambert Smith Hampton said: “Mr Wright contacted us several months ago to tell us he was leaving the premises. We had to find another tenant and hopefully we have got a tenant for when he vacates. We wanted a tenant that we wanted and not who he wanted.”

The spokesman described the present kiosk as being “quaint and out-dated” and said it would be modernised. He said he was hoping there would be a seamless transfer once the alterations had been completed.

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