A NORTH-EAST businessman has criticised council bosses for painting double yellow lines outside his premises, saying he may be forced to shut up shop as a result.

Darlington Borough Council said it had only repainted existing, faded yellow lines outside Cybertronic, in Station Road, off High Northgate.

But that is scant consolation to 68-year-old Stan Howes, who runs the CCTV and security business.

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He arrived at work on Saturday (July 6) morning to find contractors had been out even earlier to paint the lines.

Mr Howes accused the council of hypocrisy, saying it was quick to paint revenue-raising double yellow lines in busy areas.

He says calls for similar restrictions near his home, at a busy junction, have fallen on deaf ears.

Mr Howes said: “This has killed my custom, we have to be able to park outside because we have ladders to move around and we need access in and out of the premises.

“It was alright for a while, the lines were shorter; the council are saying the junction has to be kept clear, even though we are 81 feet away from it, which I think is more than ample.

“They must have come at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning, because I was here at 9am and it was all done and dusted.

“I had no prior warning and no consultation.

“The lines have been extended right past the property and it is making life impossible.”

Mr Howes, who opened Cybertronic in 1979, added: “I have got a good mind to sack all my staff and pack in, if this is the council’s idea of promoting local businesses, it is an absolute and utter joke.

“This may be small beer to the average person - they are supposed to public servants at the Town Hall, but it feels more like it is the other way round.

“If my customers are not going to be able to park outside, they will go elsewhere.

“The difference between the junction near my house and this one is that these lines are far enough away from the junction and the junction near home is dangerous, this one is not.

“It is only a bit of paint and with a bit of good will, the lines could be cut back a few feet.”

The council said it had repainted existing, faded yellow lines, but did not respond to requests for a more detailed explanation.