A businessman has accused Waltham Forest Council of ignoring the plight of hard-working men and women in the borough after the Mini Holland scheme forced him to close his shop.

Spiro Nicholas, owner of My Dream Kitchen, has shut his store in Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, due to the ongoing works to construct cycle paths on the main road.

The 49-year-old believes the council has put the needs of the 800 cyclists who pass through the main road every day before the survival of the struggling stores along the route.

Mr Nicholas has been forced to temporarily close his showroom due to the high levels of noise and lack of customer parking and says he is unsure he will be able to reopen once the works are finished.

“The drilling was so loud that I couldn’t hear my customers speaking and I couldn’t take calls on my phone,” he said.

“There was nowhere for delivery drivers or customers to park so it is pointless paying staff and keeping it open.

“It shows that the local authority have no regard for the local businesses - doing all this work for 800 cyclists a day. It’s beyond belief.

“We speak to locals and have yet to come across anyone who is in favour of all of this. It just winds me up.

“There’s a good chance I’ll have to close it for good.”

The businessman who has operated in Lea Bridge Road for 20 years believes the Mini Holland scheme will be the downfall of the once thriving busy route and claims he was not consulted about the plans.

Last week Waltham Forest Council announced plans to reduce the speed limit to 20 miles per hour, to make the road safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

But Mr Nicholas believes this will cause the traffic problem to worsen and will in turn choke the local economy.

He said the lack of parking in nearby roads has already deterred customers who had booked appointments to come and see him, but he believes the cycle lanes are “the final nail in the coffin”.

Mr Nicholas has been left with no choice but to move his headquarters to his showroom in Loughton, where he says he and fellow business owners enjoy the support of the council.

He said: “Here in Loughton, Epping Forest Council helps out the local businesses but as for Waltham Forest I don’t know what to say.

“It’s a nightmare to get your point across to them. I have called so many times.

“Mini Holland is going to ruin Lea Bridge Road for good. It’s just mad.

“It looks like a ghost town here. Businesses are struggling to keep up.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty at the moment because of Brexit and it’s bad enough for businesses.”

Councillor Clyde Loakes, deputy leader and cabinet member for the environment, said businesses were consulted about the scheme to improve the road.

He said the council has written to business owners to warn them about the “temporary disruption” caused by the construction work.

He added: “Lea Bridge Road is our flagship Enjoy Waltham Forest scheme.

“We have invested more than £15million of the funding we were awarded by TfL into making the road safer for all road users, particularly the most vulnerable pedestrians, and the growing number of cyclists who regularly use it to commute in and out of central London.

“We know from our own surveys that the fast amount of visitors to shops and businesses on Lea Bridge Road arrive by foot, bike or public transport.”

Cllr Loakes said recent research has shown that infrastructure which encourages cycling offers a “boost” to the local economy.