By David Spereall, local democracy reporter
A West Leeds takeaway boss has hit out at rude and abrasive quadbiker gangs for causing misery outside his pizza shop.
Aqib Javed, who runs TJ’s Pizza on Kirkstall Road, said youths frequently gather outside on an evening, causing a “negative” to his business.
The double yellow lines that run along the road stop outside the premises and become a single line, while a metal barrier dividing the pavement from the road also stops two doors down.
Mr Javed, 28, said polite requests to the bikers to move their vehicles on were often greeted with retorts such as ‘you’re not the police’.
Mr Javed made the comments at a licensing hearing on Tuesday, where he was granted permission by the city council to extend TJ’s closing hours from 11pm until 1am every day.
He said he’d even be willing to pay the council to extend the double yellow lines and the barrier.
Mr Javed told councillors: “We’ve tried to go outside sometimes, because it’s causing a loss to our business.
“We ask them ‘please could you move your vehicle’, but we get responses like ‘you don’t own the road’, ‘we pay our tax’, or ‘you’re not the police’.
“It’s not worth the confrontation sometimes. The whole of Kirkstall Road (to that point) has double yellow lines and a cycle lane, but it stops right outside my shop and the bike shop next door.
“It’s probably the busiest road in Leeds.”
TJ’s Pizza’s application to stay open until 1am had attracted a single objection from a nearby neighbour, who cited anti-social behaviour and “disruptive incidents from people associated with TJs”, as well as noise from quadbikes.
The neighbour in question did not attend Tuesday’s hearing.
Mr Javed strongly denied these problems were anything to do with his premises and said his business cared about the community.
A panel of two councillors, who approved the application, later described Mr Javed as a “responsible businessman who clearly valued the reputation of his business and staff”.
The takeaway boss added: “These people are causing a nuisance to the place and they’re nothing to do with us. It’s not like they’re our customers and they’re giving us money.
“If anything it causes a negative to my business. The barrier stops at my shop so everyone parks outside my shop unfortunately.”
Asked by one councillor if having the barriers and road markings extended would inconvenience his own customers, Mr Javed replied: “We’re mainly based around deliveries anyway.
“I’m willing to pay for the fence and double yellow lines if there’s going to be less commotion and less anti-social behaviour.”
Earlier this year, the police and Leeds City Council announced a crackdown on nuisance quadbikers, following complaints from people across the city about late night-noise and dangerous riding.
On-the-spot fines of up to £100 can now be issued by the authorities for such offences.
On Thursday, 24 August, WLD carried an article which wrongly stated that the council had refused TJ Pizzas’ application to extend its opening hours. The article was based on information provided by Leeds City Council’s press office and was published in good faith. The council has since apologised for their error. We are happy to clarify the position and apologise for any confusion.