A beloved family-run cafe in Townhead is at risk of closing after facing major losses 'due to the second phase of the Low Emission Zone (LEZ)'.

The Fairway Café claims it has lost 20 per cent of business since phase 2 of the LEZ came into force on June 1.

Owned by Gary Rodden and his partner Madeleine, Fairway Cafe first opened in the Fruitmarket but was caught up in a major fire in 2017.

Glasgow Times: Madeleine Furey and partner Gary Rodden who run the Fairway Cafe on Lister StreetMadeleine Furey and partner Gary Rodden who run the Fairway Cafe on Lister Street (Image: Colin Mearns, Newsquest)

The couple was forced to move location and decided on the Lister Street unit because they were familiar with the area and it was close to their former shop.

Mr Rodden said: "I knew the area and thought it was good at the time, a bustling place with businesses. I thought it would do well."

The cafe became a favourite among tradesmen who would stop by for food as they picked up supplies from local businesses before heading out to jobs.

Mr Rodden says that trade has now been decimated as many of the workers do not drive compliant vehicles and cannot enter the zone.

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He said: “We open quite early in the morning at 7am. We rely on a lot of trade workers coming into the small businesses around us.

“They come and get their materials and nip round to the café before they go out to their jobs and we have none of that now.

“They’re all self-employed, same as me, and they don’t have £30K to go and buy a new van.”

Firms in the area have resorted to running materials out of the LEZ boundary to their customers, which is less than 500 metres away.

Mr Rodden said: “That’s no good to businesses inside the zone because customers are not coming in."

The impact of the pandemic followed by the cost of living crisis has had a devastating impact on the business already but the LEZ could be the nail in the coffin, Mr Rodden says.

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He said: "I’m annoyed, to be honest. I worked hard all my life to do this.

"We’ve been running the café for 12 years now, going on 13 years and it just feels like a kick in the teeth.

“I don’t understand why they need to extend the low emissions zone to an industrial estate.

“They could have moved the cameras further down towards the city centre.

“We weren’t properly notified about this or invited to any meetings before they brought the LEZ in.”

He added: “Our losses are around 20% just now. And for us, it’s small margins. We just work from month to month here.

“It’s not big money. We just get by and get a wage out of it. I won't be able to survive come the end of the year, maybe going into next year.

"And if nothing changes, there’s certainly not a future here, definitely not.

“Electricity prices have shot up, the rents went up, and all my stock has doubled in price.”

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Mr Rodden claims that the second phase of the LEZ could be disastrous for those who live and work in Townhead.

He said: “We are part of the community, and everyone looks out for each other round about here.

"But this is just going to cripple and decimate the community. And I think it was planned."

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A spokesperson for Glasgow City Council said:  “We are aware that various economic factors at national and global levels mean this is a challenging time for businesses.

“However poor air quality presents a serious risk to public health and so the LEZ is an essential measure if Glasgow is to tackle the harmful air pollution that has dogged parts of the city centre for decades.

“The area covered by the final Phase 2 LEZ boundary which takes in Townhead, involved a number of decisions including observed and predicted pollution levels, relative traffic levels, predicted improvements in pollution, operational and enforcement factors and potential adverse impacts from redirected or parking traffic.

“The original LEZ zone affected scheduled service buses only, with an access route for non-Glasgow buses to access the Buchanan bus station.

“Phase 2 was treated as an entirely separate proposal with both consultations seeking feedback on the boundary and the entire LEZ scheme subject to an official objection period.”