A TRADER selling mobility aids has hit out at North Tyneside Council for sticking a concrete bollard outside his shop, hampering access for his disabled customers.
TravelAbility UK owner Andrew Wylie was left shocked after workmen turned up outside his store in Whitley Road, Whitley Bay, and erected the two-foot post.
He claims it prevents his disabled customers from getting out of their cars when they park outside the shop and also makes manoeuvring into the shop more difficult.
Andrew said: “We bought the shop 15 years ago, and five years ago, the council started putting bollards up outside the shop next door to stop cars driving up onto the kerb.
“The council did promise to me that they would never put bollards outside the shop, but they’ve now put one outside which people are banging their car doors against it.
“I can’t believe they didn’t stop and think about it. They are making things worse for the town centre, not easier.
“The customers who have been in so far just can’t believe it.”
A council spokesperson said: “ We are aware of this gentleman’s concerns. However, the council has taken action and erected bollards in this area in the interests of the wider community and adjacent businesses.
“Prior to this work frequent parking by heavy vehicles on this stretch of Whitley Road resulted in repeated pavement damage.
“The council therefore agreed to extend the bollards along the length of this street.”
“Care has been taken to leave space between the bollards to allow customers to be dropped off outside the shops.
“There is also an adjacent car park which includes disabled parking bays and ramped access.”