Villagers fight for road closure

PUBLISHED: 11:41 22 January 2009 | UPDATED: 13:51 06 May 2010

Mr and Mrs Myland and District Councillor Chris Brazier with the petition last summer

Mr and Mrs Myland and District Councillor Chris Brazier with the petition last summer

ANGRY villagers are preparing to fight for the closure on a section of road to reduce intimidating behaviour and fly-tipping after highways officers failed to support the proposal. Officials at Herts Highways have recommended that Barley Mow Lane in Tyt

ANGRY villagers are preparing to fight for the closure on a section of road to reduce intimidating behaviour and fly-tipping after highways officers failed to support the proposal.

Officials at Herts Highways have recommended that Barley Mow Lane in Tyttenhanger should remain open to through traffic despite overwhelming support for closure from local residents fed up with speeding, anti-social behaviour and constant dumping.

The Herts Advertiser reported the problems along the lane last year when residents Lynn and Martin Myland started a petition for a temporary six-month closure between Riperian Way and the stables to see if it put a stop to the problems. More than 200 people signed it in the hope that the trial closure on the 100-yard stretch would make the road safer.

But residents of the Barley Mow Lane travellers' site submitted a counter-petition with more than 200 signatures against the closure. They argued that there would be difficulties in moving mobile homes on and off the site if it could not be accessed from the direction of Tyttenhanger Green as a result of the closure.

Martin and Lynn Myland, who have lived in the road for more than 13 years, set up the Barley Mow Safety Forum and insist the only way to restore tranquillity in the village is to close the road to through traffic.

Mr Myland said he was extremely disappointed that county council officers had recommended that councillors keep the road open when they meet tonight (Thursday) to decide.

He still hopes that councillors on the St Albans Highways Joint Membership Panel ignore the recommendation and press ahead with the proposal - if not, he said that residents would fight the decision.

He added: "It will be a slap in the face for everyone in the village if they refuse it. People in the village will certainly remember when it comes to voting."

Mr Myland pointed out: "There have been three cases of fly-tipping this week - if the lane was closed it would stop. My wife has been attacked and the driving on the lane is murderous. Somebody is going to be killed - my wife walks up and down the road two to three times a day in the summer and I don't want it to be her."

Among the allegations of intimidating behaviour is someone being spat on through their car window and Mrs Myland said she was attacked with a catapult from a passing vehicle.

The Neighbourhood Policing Team has supported a closure, believing that it would reduce problems in the road and assist them in their prevention of offences.

In the report from the highways department at County Hall, officers claim that speeding was not a problem when they carried out a speed assessment.

They said that the work would cost in the region of £45,000 and require the removal of trees to resolve the access problems to the gipsy site.

HCC's Adult Care Services also said that the move would isolate the gipsies from their community which contravened the principle of the "social inclusion of ethnic minorities".

Rather than closing the road, the highways team recommended supporting the police through working with the gipsy liaison team to reduce anti-social behaviour and to "continue to integrate the gipsy families into the local community".

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