Man condems Central Beds Council for double yellow lines

Matthew Blythe outside his shop in Henlow

Matthew Blythe outside his shop in Henlow - Credit: Archant

A man has condemned a council for hampering small businesses.

Matthew Blythe opened Impact Interiors, a homeware shop in Henlow High Street, earlier this month, after taking the shop over at the end of July. But he has been told that Bedfordshire County Council will be painting yellow lines outside his shop in the next couple of weeks and is powerless to do anything about it.

The 44-year-old Shefford resident received a letter from Bedfordshire Highways stating it was a road safety issue. He was not aware of any plans when he opened the shop.

Mr Blythe said: “The lines will be directly outside my shop. I want to be able to unload or for people to be able to park for 30 minutes so they can pop in. I have been told the council is doing it for safety reasons. There is a transport business nearby which has expanded over the years. I think it is because the lorries cannot easily get out of the turning, but we aren’t right next to this business, so they have started the restrictions too early.

“I have been chasing it for weeks and no one was able to give me an answer. We eventually got the answer we didn’t want and we feel the council has reacted like it is just tough luck really.

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“They have made no provision for a car park and there are other businesses down the High Street but no restrictions outside. The council says it can help small businesses but when I contacted them I just got swept away.

“It is ironic that at the end of the road there is a sign on the roundabout saying ‘Central Beds Council, working in partnership with local business’. They are not working in partnership with mine.”

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Central Bedfordshire Council said the restrictions are being implemented because parked cars on the inside of the bend can obscure visibility.

Councillor Brian Spurr, executive member for sustainable communities-services, said: “This decision was taken some time ago and we have been in touch with Mr Blythe both to explain the process and answer some of his questions and concerns.

“Issues similar to the ones he is raising were dealt with at the traffic management committee where we made the decision to go ahead with the restrictions to prevent parking on the pavement and to mitigate safety concerns on the bend.

“At that meeting we also took on board the objections and shortened the restrictions to allow some on-street parking.

“The safety of road users and pedestrians is a priority for us and we hope these restrictions will make a busy road easier to navigate.”

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