Still no action over country lane closure
PUBLISHED: 10:56 29 May 2009 | UPDATED: 14:07 06 May 2010
DISILLUSIONED residents of a rural lane blighted by crime have complained that no steps towards closing the road to through traffic have been taken since a panel agreed the idea over a month ago. The controversial proposal for a trial gating order along B
DISILLUSIONED residents of a rural lane blighted by crime have complained that no steps towards closing the road to through traffic have been taken since a panel agreed the idea over a month ago.
The controversial proposal for a trial gating order along Barley Mow Lane in Tyttenhanger was given the thumbs up by a panel of county and district councillors in April to see if it put a stop to continual fly-tipping, speeding and anti-social and intimidating behaviour.
The go-ahead was despite objections from Herts County Council's (HCC) adult care services which claimed the proposal would cut off the gipsies living in the lane from the wider community.
Agreeing the idea in principle, the Highways Joint Members Panel requested a report into how the gating order could be implemented along with a consultation.
Elated residents and Colney Heath district and parish councillor Chris Brazier left the meeting believing that the consultation would be underway as soon as possible.
But, as revealed by the Herts Advertiser, confusion followed when HCC insisted that the panel only agreed to conduct a cost and feasibility study which would go back to the panel ahead of any consultation.
Cllr Brazier accused the highways officers of trying to "worm" out of introducing the order and said the consultation and feasibility study should be carried out in parallel.
Highways officers estimated prior to the meeting that the proposal would cost around £50,000 so Cllr Brazier questioned how that figure was reached if no costing was done.
The problems along the lane were highlighted by this newspaper last year when long-standing residents Lynn and Martin Myland, who started the Barley Mow Lane Safety Forum, drew up a petition for the six-month trial closure.
Mrs Myland, who said the situation along the lane was continually deteriorating, has written to the panel complaining about the lack of progress on the matter.
She accused highways officers of "sluggishness" and claimed deliberate attempts to obstruct the panel's decision have been made.
She demanded an account of any actions taken so far and called into question why the consultation was yet to be launched.
A spokesperson for Herts Highways said: "We appreciate the group's desire to see a consultation underway as soon as possible. However, a feasibility study is necessary to identify any type and site of closure that would ultimately be consulted upon. We will be responding to their letter in full and will continue to use the appropriate channels to communicate with the forum.