A CONVENIENCE store at the heart of an estate has closed its doors after more than 50 years with the loss of six jobs.

Bolton Avenue Newsagents, which served the Within Grove estate, Huncoat, for decades, made the decision after new pavement bollards prevented passing trade parking directly outside.

Owner Keith Windle said a zebra crossing outside his shop, along with pavement bollards, should have been sited a further 30 yards down directly opposite the children’s play park area.

But Lancashire County Council said the move was necessary for safety to prevent pavement parking near the crossing.

Mr Windle said he took on the business, which provides six part-time jobs, 20 years ago on the expectation that a 400-house development would be built only for the plans to fall through. Coun Whittaker said residents were “devastated” by the loss of the shop.

He explained: “Now people will have to walk another mile to top up their phone and get electric cards. The estate is up in arms. It has been trading there for years and was doing well until the council intervened.”

Huncoat councillor Dave Parkins said: “We have campaigned for a zebra crossing and I’m glad it’s here because children have been killed on Bolton Avenue. Safety comes first.

“However, I am not sure why it is sited exactly where it is, although I am not a traffic officer.

“It is very sad that they have gone out of business because something is needed here. I had a meeting with a convenience chain but they weren’t interested because the catchment area is so small and access is bad for deliveries.”

Oliver Starkey, Lancashire County Council highways manager for Hyndburn, said: “The zebra crossing on Bolton Avenue was introduced in response to requests to provide a safer connection between housing on the west side of the road at Within Grove and the play area to the east.

“It was necessary to place bollards at the back of the pavement to prevent cars from being driven across it and possibly endangering pedestrians on the crossing.

“Parking is available next to the shop on Oakhurst Avenue where there are no waiting restrictions."