Harborough traffic warden spoils the party!

Raj Aggarwal with one of the ticketed cars. Picture courtesy of HFM
Raj Aggarwal with one of the ticketed cars. Picture courtesy of HFM

The grand opening of a new food store and coffee shop in Market Harborough at the weekend was spoilt - by a traffic warden.

The Spar Shop and neighbouring Insomnia coffee shop in Adam and Eve Street were celebrating on Saturday with visits from six special vehicles, including a Monster Truck, a Red Bull car and a liveried Formula 1 car that offered guests a simulated drive round Silverstone.

But the party was pooped when all the visiting vehicles, parked on Adam and Eve Street, were given parking tickets.

Boss of both businesses Raj Aggarwal said: “The opening went very well. It was a fantastic day. I guess about 2,000 people must have seen the opening throughout the day.

“But those parking tickets - well, they’re really taking the mick. I put on a bit of a party for the town - pulled out all the stops to make it a special occasion - and a traffic warden puts a dampener on it.”

Mr Aggarwal said he was going to have to pay for six parking tickets.

“We’ve spent nearly half a million on the two sites, and we would have hoped for a bit more support” he added.

But a District Council spokesperson said: “An application for special dispensation to park on a street outside of the normal parking restrictions must be made to Leicestershire County Council Highways.

“If an application is not submitted and approved any vehicle parked on the street in contravention of parking restrictions will be issued with a Penalty Charge Notice.”

Mr Aggarwal, who lives in Great Glen, says he is delighted to have opened his new businesses in the “special town” of Market Harborough.

The shops will be creating 26 jobs and at least two apprentices, all of which are being taken up by Harborough district residents.

The Insomnia coffee shop has been open for a while and is doing “really well”, Mr Aggarwal said.

The Spar store only opened on Saturday and “people are more inquisitive at the minute, but they’re coming back. I think sales are going to increase day by day.”

The units are a key plank in Harborough District Council’s plan to “sweat its assets”, and ensure that they make the most of their facilities.

The council HQ - the Victorian-era former R & WH Symington corset factory - was refurbished in 2013 at a cost of £5.75million and re-opened to the public in January 2014.