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Councillors scrap 'pointless' crossing plans in Russell Lane, East Barnet, that cost taxpayers £15,000
“Pointless” plans for new pedestrian crossings and parking restrictions in an East Barnet street were binned by councillors tonight.
Despite spending £15,000 of taxpayers’ cash looking into proposals for three new walkways and double yellow lines in Russell Lane, the plans were scrapped in the wake of a backlash from traders and the village’s residents association.
Members of the Chipping Barnet area Environment Sub-Committee unanimously opposed the proposals, a decision welcomed with applause from dozens of audience members.
The scheme was put forward in February by Brunswick Park ward Councillor Andreas Tambourides after he was approached by at least one resident asking for new crossings over the grass verge in Russell Lane.
Dozens of council officer’s hours and thousands of pounds were subsequently spent on drawing up plans for concrete crossings and a new parking scheme in the area.
Opponents pointed out that concrete crossings already existed and double yellow lines over the eleven existing parking spaces would kill off trade at a parade of shops in the road.
Plans were drawn up despite no decisions being taken by voted members and councillors tonight apologised to the audience at the council’s expenditure.
Labour councillor in Coppetts ward Pauline Coakley Webb said: “I’m astounded at the money we’ve spent on this before it has even been voted on by the committee – it is awful.”
Brunswick Park representative Councillor Lisa Rutter added: “I think it is such a waste of money and I’m sorry it has been spent already in this way. No-one knows how the council spent this money – I wasn’t even aware of it and when I found out, it was too late.
“This should have been brought forward before we spent anything at all.”
Following a vote to condemn the proposals, members requested that in future, matters of this nature are brought to the committee before any taxpayers’ money is spent on developing plans.
East Barnet Residents’ Association chairman Dan Hope said: “I’m very happy that the council has listened to the residents and the criticisms expressed by the committee about the money spent.
“It is a shame it came to the point where so much money had been spent but I’m pleased at the decision and particularly pleased at the committee’s recognition of the input by the EBRA.”