A SANDWICH shop owner is fearing for her future after claiming the introduction of double yellow lines outside her shop has driven customers away.
Brenda Farrow took over a unit in the former Mowbray pub, on the Fens estate, in February this year to set up the Deli B sandwich shop.
Early business was encouraging, but since Hartlepool Borough Council put double yellow lines down four weeks ago, Brenda claims customers are driving past her shop for fear of getting a parking ticket.
Council chiefs say the yellow lines, which were part of the planning approval, are needed to ensure safety in relation to the nearby junction.
There is a 17-space car park just yards from the shop where any customers can park, but Brenda says people are driving past it and going elsewhere.
The 59-year-old said: “If things don’t pick up soon then I might not see a year out.
“Since the double yellows were put down, people aren’t stopping anymore.
“When I first opened, people were parking on the kerb outside, running in for a sandwich, then jumping back in their car and heading off.
“People are in a hurry, obviously they will come here to grab a quick bite to eat, and I’m finding they just aren’t stopping anymore and it is all since the lines were put down.
“When I first opened, I was taking about £250 a day. Then it levelled out about £160 a day. But I make nowhere near that now.
“There was one day I took 78p, then £3.50 the next day.
“I can’t run a business taking that in. There’s me and two part-time staff members, I can’t pay wages and bills if my takings are as low as that.
“The food is just getting wasted as well because nobody is coming in.”
Brenda, who used to run The Woodcutter pub with husband Chris, says she has contacted the council about the lines but has been told they were in the plans when she bought the shop.
She added: “I come in at 7am, open up for breakfasts at 7.30am and stay open until 2pm once the lunchtime period is finished.
“I only opened in February, but the way I feel now I just want to shut it up. It’s killing us.
“We started off so well, it’s just so upsetting to end up struggling like this.”
A council spokesman said: “The double yellow lines were part of a condition imposed when planning permission was granted for the conversion of the former pub into business units.
“The double yellow lines are necessary for safety at the junction, especially as more units are due to open in the building.
“There is a car park close by, just off Mowbray Road, and we would advise people to use this.”