A POSTMASTER may have to leave the shop he “loves” because the space used as a loading bay will be replaced by a cycle lane.

Parimal Bhatt has owned the Post Office, in Palmers Green, since 2012 but says the Mini Holland scheme is bringing everything he has worked for under threat.

The stretch of road with double yellow lines is used as a loading bay by delivery drivers carrying heavy packages and large amounts of money.

But they now face having to cross the road to a busy junction nearly two minutes away.

Mr Bhatt, 38, said: “It’s terrible. There will be no space for the drivers to provide their service. It’s not practical for them to cross the road with a big trolley full of mail. It will just be dangerous.

“I’m scared they’ll stop coming and I wouldn’t blame them, but it would mean I’d have to close down for good.

“I love this business. It’s like my first baby. I’m passionate and I’ll fight for it, but I need the council to listen to what I’m saying. It’s my whole life.”

He claims he received a dismissive reply from the contractor’s liaison officer who mistook the shop for being in Fox Lane.

He then “added insult to injury” by accusing the delivery drivers of using the loading bay illegally, even though Royal Mail is entitled to park on double yellow lines.

Mr Bhatt also claims he “ignored the dangers” of crossing a busy road with money and packages in a part of London blighted by crime.

Although the contractor agreed to attend a meeting at the post office on Friday, February 24, he allegedly did not turn up. However, Enfield Council disputes this was ever in place.

In 2015, Mr Bhatt, who is divorced, spent £150,000 of his own money refurbishing the building and fears the effort he put in will be in vain.

He added: “We provide such a vital service, people come to collect their pensions and post their mail out.

“Since becoming the postmaster four years ago I have invested a huge amount of time and money, making Palmers Green post office a far more attractive and pleasant place to visit, than it was before.

“With the internet, post offices have lost a large proportion of the business they once had and have had to diversify to survive. However, we still have our regular customers.”

Work on the A105 scheme, which will link Palmers Green and Enfield Town, come after an 18 month consultation.

The £42million programme has been hailed as a “lifetime opportunity” but many say it will cause traffic chaos and loss of parking spaces.

Giving his opinion on the cycle lane, Mr Bhatt added: “It’s a waste of public money. I see hardly any cyclists in Green Lanes, few people bike here.

“I’m all for cycle safety but this really is affecting businesses and local residents alike.”

Haroulla Psaras, who has lived in Palmers Green for more than continued on Page 7 35 years, said: “I cannot believe what is happening around us. Neither I nor any of my friends support this ridiculous cycle lanes scheme.

“It is for a tiny percentage of the population, not ordinary people like us. I always thought the Labour Party now running Enfield Council supported hard working communities. It seems that is no longer the case.”

MP David Burrowes has also thrown his support to Mr Bhatt’s campaign.

The Enfield Independent has requested comment from Enfield Council.

MP David Burrowes has also thrown his support to Mr Bhatt’s campaign.

He said: “The likely problems for Palmers Green Post Office from the cycle lane highlights the lack of consultation and consideration of the concerns of high street businesses.

"Enfield Council needs to do what it should have done last year which is sit down with post office and Royal Mail managers and work out a solution. This is another reason why I have called on the Mayor Sadiq Khan to halt the implementation of this increasingly unviable scheme”.

Enfield Cllr, Daniel Anderson, said: “We are aware of the communications taking place between the Post Office, Royal Mail, the contractor Ringway Jacobs and the Council. We are actively working to find a resolution to the concerns that have been outlined. We fully expect to find a solution that works for everybody.

 “A meeting has already been scheduled, which is due to take place this week, to discuss both the short-term issue of collections during the construction period as well as the options available to ensure these can continue in the longer term once construction is complete.

“Cycle Enfield is committed to transforming our high streets and town centres while promoting more active forms of travel through the borough. We understand loading is critical for businesses to function and will work closely with all parties to ensure a better Enfield for all.”