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Bollards bothering businesses removed within 24 hours after Upminster Bridge shopkeepers protest

PUBLISHED: 16:00 27 November 2017

Arnie De'milia owner of De'milia barbers in Upminster Bridge, with the bollards he said would 'totally destroy' his business. Photo: Matt Clemenson

Arnie De'milia owner of De'milia barbers in Upminster Bridge, with the bollards he said would 'totally destroy' his business. Photo: Matt Clemenson

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Upminster Bridge shop owners are celebrating this week after convincing Havering Council to do away with two bollards they claimed were ‘totally destroying business’.

The bollards were installed on the pavement in Upminster Road, opposite the Windmill Pub, last week as part of the on-going Co-op development there.

However, shopkeepers on the adjacent parade insisted they were never informed of the bollards, which blocked off the shops’ private forecourts, meaning customers could no longer park outside.

Arnie De’milia, who has run a hairdressers on the row of shops for the past 15 years, told the Recorder he had never experienced anything like this issue before.

He said: “No one at the council wrote to us, or told us anything about the fact we would be losing a dropped kerb.

“We’ve already seen that business is down massively on the last two years and unless something is done it is going to totally destroy our business.”

While the Recorder was visiting the site on Friday, one customer was forced to drive the entire length of the nine shops to access a drop kerb that is meant for use by pedestrians attempting to cross Norfolk Road.

Public safety is another thing that Mr De’milia claims was not considered when the bollards were installed.

“Now there is no way for our customers to park without mounting the pavement and creating a hazard.

“If they don’t do that, they have to drive all the way down the pavement and it is not good.”

But the story appears to have a happy ending, as Havering Council confirmed the bollards were removed after the Recorder visited the site on Friday.

A council spokesman insisted that the approved planning drawings for the Co-op site, which would have been in the public domain, showed the bollards, and made clear that driving down the footpath was both dangerous and illegal.

He added: “Two bollards were put up to improve the safety of pedestrians and prevent people driving illegally and dangerously along the footway.

“However, we have been informed by local businesses and residents that this is no longer an issue, and have removed both bollards for the time being.”

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