AN angry garage owner has gone into battle with a water giant over months of roadworks he fears could decimate his business.
Jason Gardner, of JB Garages, in Kirkham, refused to move dozens of vehicles parked outside his business when United Utilities arrived on-site to begin sewer work on Station Road yesterday morning.
The work is set to put Mr Gardner’s customer car park and the on-street parking he uses out of action, and he is furious United Utilities is demanding £800 to arrange alternative car parking.
Mr Gardner said: “I’m being bullied. They need me to clear the car parks and they promised me allocated car parking but they want me to pay £800 for a car park under the railway arch.
“They’ve turned up this morning and put loads of cones down so what I’ve done is got a load of cars and put them so they can’t do the road works. I’m not going to move my cars.”
United Utilities has said it will refund Mr Gardner the money “within weeks”, but he added: “It’s going to severely harm my business because let’s face it, if you come to a garage and you can’t find anywhere to park you just drive past and find another one.”
The work is set to last until April and is to install a new storage tank on Richard Street and a screen on Station Road.
A United Utilities spokesman said: “We’ve provided an alternative for him to park his cars. He has been kept informed of what’s been happening for the past 12 months and there are signs to say businesses are open as usual.”