Could gates removal lead to increase in anti-social behaviour on the Alban Way?
- Credit: Peter Wares
Concerns have been raised about the possible return of anti-social behaviour following the removal of kissing gates from a cycle path in St Albans.
The gates at Longacres on the Alban Way were taken away from the pedestrian and cycle path connecting St Albans to Hatfield along a former railway line.
Bollards have been installed instead of the kissing gates - which were originally put in after a spate of anti-social behaviour.
Late in 2004, St Albans district council received complaints from residents about motorbikes riding up and down the path in the early hours of the morning, nearly knocking over walkers.
In response, kissing gates were installed to allow prams and walkers to pass, while preventing the entry of motorbikes.
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District councillor Anthony Rowlands has joined calls to reinstate the gates.
He said: “We are very unhappy about how this has all happened and since we met with the council officers, new evidence [of anti-social behaviour] has come to light.
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“We are not convinced that the bollards will fulfil the same function as the gates.
“We want to work with the council and residents to reach a sensible solution, because the gates were put there for very good reason.”
Debbi White, the council’s head of community services, said: “Our green spaces team held an on-site meeting with residents to discuss the access points at Longacres to the Alban Way.
“After discussing the issues with them, we suggested replacing the kissing gates with bollards and the residents were generally supportive of the action.
“We also committed to monitoring the change to ensure it did not have any adverse impact.”
She added bollards ensured cars could not access the path, and they did not obstruct the way for wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
Motorbikes could also potentially access the pathway via gaps in the foliage, she stressed, but no complaints of that nature had been made in ‘some years’.
Anyone who sees a motorbike should contact Herts Police on 101, along with the district council.