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Residents of a northern town have been left fuming after the council erected bollards in front of their driveway.
Darlington Borough Council have installed bollards in Dinsdale on Middleton Lane, directly in front of the home of a couple who spoke toTeesside Live.
The pair, who wish to remain anonymous, said that they used to have a grassy front garden but have now constructed a driveway.
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The council have since put up the two bollards directly in front of their home having previously implanted tactile paving for safer road crossing in 2018 to improve the protection of parents and children walking to the nearby primary school.
One-half of the couple, a woman, has now called for the safety features to be installed elsewhere, citing traffic issues on that part of the road since the installation of the tactile pavement five years ago.
The residents of the Middleton Lane gaff said they received a warning from the council after an official saw their car parked on their front driveway.
The woman said: "I didn't initially know you couldn't drive over it, and we only had the driveway done at the end of March. A highways inspector drove past, stopped, and told my husband he was legally not allowed to park there.
"We did have grass and a footpath but the tree roots completely uplifted it, so we installed the paved driveway. To be honest, we were totally naïve and just assumed as it was a dropped kerb we would be able to use it."
The council then sent a letter in May saying that bollards would be installed to stop cars from driving over the pavement and damaging it.
"This was just a warning sign, we haven't used it since, yet they still came and installed the bollards," the resident added.
The council claims it was not made aware of the plans to pave over the driveway and as such missed the opportunity to tell residents they wouldn’t be able to use it.
The couple haven't used their car since March with it now parked on a street nearby.
She added: "I feel like we've been made an example of and discriminated against. I don't think they needed to go to this extreme, I'm so embarrassed.
"It just looks awful and whenever I look out the window I'm faced with this. I keep my blinds closed now."
Local reports claim that during school drop off and pick up the roads get very busy, with traffic forced to pass through parked cars on Middleton Lane.
Local councillor Deborah Laing said: "It's very difficult and we have asked the questions but we have not got anywhere yet. She has everything going against her and we're trying to find a feasible solution.
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“I can understand the council's decision but I really sympathise with her as it's very difficult in the village with parking."
A council spokesperson said: "There must be a properly constructed vehicle crossing if residents want to park on a driveway. The location must be inspected by the Highways Authority to ensure it is safe. We always try to accommodate requests but there are occasions when we have to refuse, for example, if it's close to a junction or crossing.
"On this occasion, the resident did not contact the Highway Authority before building their block paving. If they had, they would have been advised that a vehicle crossing would not be allowed due to the existing crossing, which is also a school crossing patrol location and has been for many years.
"We have been in discussions with the resident for several months and have explored the possibility of moving the crossing point but this has not been possible due to on-street parking, bus stops and nearby road junctions.
"The resident told us they would be extending their fence to close the gap but this has not happened so reluctantly we have had to install bollards to prevent cars driving over the footpath.
"It is regretful that we were unable to help this resident but we have a duty of care to keep everyone safe."
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