Ongoing problems prompt call for lane to be closed

PUBLISHED: 13:12 25 July 2008 | UPDATED: 13:28 06 May 2010

Cllr Chris Brazier (centre) with Martin and Lynn Myland in Barley Mow Lane

Cllr Chris Brazier (centre) with Martin and Lynn Myland in Barley Mow Lane

REPEATED incidents of tipping, anti-social behaviour and speeding have forced residents of a country lane to get up a petition calling for it to be closed to through traffic. About 200 people have signed the petition asking for a six-month temporary stop

REPEATED incidents of tipping, anti-social behaviour and speeding have forced residents of a country lane to get up a petition calling for it to be closed to through traffic.

About 200 people have signed the petition asking for a six-month temporary stopping order on Barley Mow Lane in Tyttenhanger at the section between Riperian Way and the stables to see if it alleviates the problems.

A meeting attended by around 45 local residents, councillors and St Albans MP Anne Main was held on Sunday ahead of a presentation to the Highways Joint Members' Panel today (Thursday) which will lay out the proposal.

The argument for closing the 100-yard stretch of road will be voiced by Lynn Myland, who has lived along the lane for 13 years with her husband Martin with whom she set up the Barley Mow Safety Forum last year.

Residents hope that closing the road to through traffic will stop the rat-running along Highfield Lane, through Tyttenhanger Green, Barley Mow Lane and Colney Heath Lane - a particular problem when the nearby A414 snarls up.

Mr and Mrs Myland said cars continually drove at dangerously-high speeds along the narrow and winding lane which had a 60mph speed limit but was often used by horse riders, cyclists and walkers.

Mr Myland said: "Animals have been killed and we are very concerned that people could be. My wife walks horses up and down the lane and is odds-on to be the first and we are not prepared to wait for that."

Another problem is repeated fly-tipping and alleged intimidating behaviour. Mrs Myland said she was hit on the head by a missile launched from a catapult by someone in a passing car two years ago.

Speaking about the proposal, Mr Myland, said: "We have been here 13 years and we know this is the answer - it is the only answer. Traffic calming will just be laughed at."

Mr Myland runs a scaffolding business from home and one of his neighbours runs a coal business. He added: "We are both willing to forgo the use of that piece of land for the benefit it is guaranteed to bring. It will stop fly tipping overnight."

The couple said that 95 per cent of local residents supported the closure.

Mrs Main recently attended a police community action day in which officers spoke to local residents about any concerns they had.

She heard about a number of incidents of intimidating behaviour along Barley Mow Lane which people had not reported to police through fear of reprisals.

One woman told the MP that she was forced to reverse back down the road by a van, was spat on through the window and then followed home, and others reported similar incidents including eggs being thrown at them.

Mrs Main said she was shocked by what she heard and added: "This level of intimidation and anti-social driving, whoever is doing it, has got to stop."

Many people have told her that they now avoid the lane altogether because of fears of falling victim to anti-social or intimidating behaviour.

Colney Heath parish councillor and the district council's planning portfolio holder, Chris Brazier, is hoping that if the temporary closure is imposed and proves successful, it will be made permanent.

He said: "It is a fly-tipping heaven down there, we get fly tipping all the time. As a lane it is unlit and there are not regular patrols and no CCTV surveillance, so it is ideal for people to fly tip."

He added: "There is regular speeding and no regular speed checks. The fear is that one day someone may be killed along there."

A police spokesperson said: "We are aware of the situation regarding Barley Mow Lane and our London Colney Neighbourhood Team has already met with residents to discuss the problems. We are currently working with the community and other agencies to address the issues raised.

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