A shopkeeper said pavement widening measures put in place to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 are “crippling” businesses.

Ian Mandel, who runs trophy shop Awards4U in Honeypot Lane, criticised Harrow Council’s decision to install safety barriers along various parades in the borough.

He told a special traffic and road safety advisory panel (TARSAP) last night (August 10) that people can no longer park near the shops, which he said discourages many from visiting.

“There’s absolutely no footfall – the whole thing doesn’t make sense,” he said.

“Shops are closing down because they can’t make any profit. I’ve taken less than £500 since March, you can’t run a business on that.”

Mr Mandel said the barriers were installed quickly to “fulfil a dubious commitment to Transport for London” and that “no thought” was given to the impact it would have on shop owners.

He called for the barriers to be removed as soon as possible and to return to a state which “worked well before”.

Harrow Council installed ‘pedestrian space measures’ in nine locations across the borough, with the Honeypot Lane barriers in place by July 1.

It explained these were carried out to protect residents by reducing the risk of the spread of Covid-19 by enabling social distancing.

Canons ward councillor Ameet Jogia suggested the measures were also put in place to encourage people to walk to their local shops, but that, clearly, it had not had the desired effect.

And Cllr John Hinkley, who represents Hatch End ward, lent his support to Mr Mandel, agreeing that the changes had been carried out “in a rush” with “no consultation”.

The panrl recommended the barriers in Honeypot Lane be withdrawn, along with similar measures in Streatfield Road, Queensbury, Kenton Road, Kenton, and Kenton Lane, Belmont.

Its recommendations will be referred to the leader of Harrow Council, Cllr Graham Henson, who will make a final decision.