FITNESS fans parking illegally on the pavement outside a town centre gym have been condemned by its boss and a senior councillor.

Customers using Blackburn’s PureGym in the evenings have been leaving their vehicles on the flagged area between The Mall shopping centre and the town’s new bus station.

Several vehicles have been parking there despite the best efforts of bosses at the 24-hour gym on the side of The Mall shopping centre to dissuade them.

The problem echoes that faced by the management of the Frankie’s Burgers on Salford at the other end of the bus station.They have been trying to stop customers parking on the pavement in front of the restaurant in the former Pitchers Bar since opening in January.

Cllr Jim Smith, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s environment boss, said: “It is disappointing irresponsible people are parking their cars between the bus station and PureGym in the evenings when there are car parks which are free after 6pm in the immediate area.

“We would urge Pure Gym to advise its members to stop parking in front of the gym.”

PureGym Blackburn manager Phil Stephenson said: “We have appealed to our customers not to park on the pavement.

“There is no need whatsoever for members to park on the restricted areas outside the gym. We have an arrangement with The Mall where they can stay free for two hours on its car park whenever they arrive.

“It is ironic people coming to a gym are being lazy. We have emailed members about this and put up signs up inside asking them not to park there.

“Some clearly think after a certain time they can get away with it so we even invited a couple of council parking officers down at 8pm one night to warn people about parking there.

“I shall email members again and put up more signs in the gym. We are happy to support the council in any further action.”