The owners of one of the popular businesses in Blackburn have spoken out in their battle for parking outside the premises.

Meena Bakery which sells chappatis and savoury products is based on Victoria Street and was established in 1975. But customers and residents still do not have any parking provisions outside the store.

A ‘dead end’ road layout outside the shop is a no parking zone with double yellow lines used only by staff and customers.

The council has responded stating why these lines are necessary and said redevelopments would only change the direction of traffic onto Victoria Street. 

There are no plans to provide parking for the Meena Bakery owners though and customers must still park on double yellow lines.

Ahmed Patel of Meena Bakery said: “I have been living at this address since 1975. At that time, parking was available in nearby streets, less than 50 metres away. 

“Around 1990, when Barbara Castle Way was being planned, I was told that parking would be available even after the construction of the new dual carriageway.

“According to my property deeds, I own the land adjacent to my property, which is up to the centre line of the roads on Victoria Street and Regent Street. 

“The council made a compulsory purchase order for the land. I did not agree but they just dropped the subject and just left the road with double yellow lines so that I would not be able to park there. 

“I pointed out that this part of the road is a ‘dead end’, so there is no need for double lines.”

The council told us: “This is a turning circle where yellow lines are necessary for movement of vehicles.”

But when asked if yellow lines were necessary on both turning points and the side road, the council said, “This is a side road and is not wide enough for larger vehicles. It is for two-way traffic at this part so space is needed to allow parking and two lines of vehicles to pass.”

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The Council were asked if there any plans to change these in the near future. 
A statement read: “The direction of Tontine Street is being reversed and will become ‘in- only’ from Barbara Castle Way. 

“The new Richmond Hill link road exit onto Barbara Castle Way is under signal control with traffic able to turn left and right.

“Arrangements on Regent Street (both sides) will be unchanged by the scheme and will comprise two-way traffic with turning heads. 

“Space for parking in this part of the town centre is at a premium for residents and businesses, and hence demand will always exceed supply. 

“Because of this, there are no plans to introduce additional parking for residents in this location. The council does review parking charges and tariffs on a regular basis. These concerns and comments will be fed into the next review of parking and town centre parking.”

Ahmed said: “It can be seen that cars would be able to turn here even with one lane and the circle, and large vehicles can’t turn around even with the two lanes and the circle. Large vehicles have to reverse out. 

“They could have moved the circle five metres further and leave space for me. You will not see so much space given for turning in any other dead-end street.”

He added: “On Whalley Range, which is a busy two way road, they have just created parking bays that are such that half of the car is on the road and half on the pavement. How safe is that for the pedestrians?

“They tell me that they would give me my land if they did not need it for the road but they are just making it look as if it is needed. Only the people wanting to come to my property need to use this part of the road which they would be able to do even if the road were in my hands. 

He also highlighted parking permits in a nearby street were restricted.

He said: “When Barbara Castle Way was opened, they restricted parking on Regent Street. 

“I requested a parking permit but I was told at the time that Blackburn does not have such a scheme, but if there are to be changes in the future we would be granted a parking permit. 

“As of today, permits have been issued for residents of the neighbouring area but we have not been included in this change. 

“A councillor intervened and I was granted a parking permit from 5pm to 10am which is not ideal for my family’s situation. The permit was only allowing me to park for three hours during non-peak times.”

Responding to Meena Bakery’s claim that their property deeds show that the land adjacent to their shop is legally owned by them the council said: “The private property ends at the back of footway and does not extend into the highway.

“Demand often exceeds supply for parking in many of our urban areas and it is not always possible for people to park outside their own house.”

Councillor Phil Riley said: “Parking in Blackburn town centre is always a fine balance and space is limited. 

“At the moment these restrictions are in place to try and make it fair for everyone. Parking and traffic issues are regularly reviewed however, and any plans in this area will be fully discussed with all residents and businesses.”