A SHOP proprietor has claimed that parking restrictions at his premises have ignored the wishes of more than 500 residents.

John O’Brien, who operates the Nippy Sweety shop in Upper Helensburgh, submitted a petition to Argyll and Bute Council signed by 550 people opposing double yellow lines being painted.

But the restrictions were put in place at the shop on the junction of MacLachlan Road and Sinclair Street, although reduced in planned length by two thirds.

A council statement said that no apology was made for implementing road safety measures at the premises.

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Mr O’Brien said: “For some time now there has been an intention to site parking restrictions in the form of double yellow lines around my premises.

“I objected to this and forwarded a 550-signature petition to Argyll and Bute Council in respect of this. Whilst I was still in dialogue with the council regarding this, the lines were put in place.

“Openness and transparency has been absent at all stages in my involvement with them. Firstly, their representative ‘forgot’ to advise me of the correct procedures for objecting, resulting in the wishes of 550 people being dismissed.

“They ‘forgot’ to advise me that the lines were being put in place – surprisingly when the representative I was dealing with was on holiday.

“And they ‘forgot‘ to take into account the impact on my staff, customers and me – in my opinion.

“Argyll and Bute Council state they value their community and opinions – could have fooled me.”

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Members of Helensburgh and Lomond Area Committee approved the parking restrictions at their meeting in December.

Objectors stated in a report presented to councillors that introducing new yellow lines on MacLachlan Road would be “seriously detrimental to the small business relying on passing trade” and there had been “no accidents and there is no road safety issue” in the area.

A report for the same meeting by the council’s traffic and development manager Stuart Watson said: “This location has been the subject of complaints regarding parking from the local residents, many via the local members, over a number of years.

“The primary reason for the increase in complaints has been the result of the existing corner shop being brought back into use and the increased use of Helensburgh Upper station.

“In order to mitigate against the loss of parking on MacLachlan Road and to minimise the possible impact on the shop the ‘Nippy Sweety’, it was proposed to reduce the overall extent of the waiting restriction on the north side of the road.”

An Argyll and Bute Council spokesperson said: “We did listen to the concerns of consultees and the no waiting restriction on East Munro Drive/MacLachlan Road (north side) was reduced in length from 30 metres to 10 metres to allow for additional parking.

“This is a change to the original traffic order. It was proposed to prevent inconsiderate parking, too close to the junction, restricting visibility. We make no apology for taking measures to make the roads safer.”