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'Dangerous' commuter rat-run in Friern Barnet used by 3,500 cars could be closed off
A "dangerous" commuter rat-run used by 3,500 vehicles could be closed off following a campaign by residents who say speeding traffic is making their lives a misery.
Traffic surveys show thousands of cars cut through Hillside, Holyfield and St John’s Avenues and Queens Parade Close to avoid queuing for traffic lights at the junction of Colney Hatch Lane and Friern Barnet Road.
Members of the Holyfield Avenue Residents’ Association, leading a campaign to block the short cut in Friern Barnet, say cars piling past on a daily basis are making them fear for their lives.
At a high-tempered meeting of the Chipping Barnet Area Sub-Committee meeting last night, councillors called on the highways department to impose a trial blockade of the residential roads.
The proposal brought cheers from the 50-strong audience but angry shouts followed when Highways manager Paul Bragg said a lengthy public consultation would have to be undertaken.
There was also anger when it emerged papers containing the results of a council traffic survey, undertaken in early summer, were only handed to members moments before the meeting began.
Councillor Pauline Coakley Webb, of Coppetts ward, described the situation as “not good enough”.
Highways officers presented written answers to more than ten questions on the subject at last night’s meeting, with committee members asked to answer supplementary questions from the angry audience.
Following a lengthy debate on the issue, Mr Bragg agreed his team would look at ways of imposing a temporary blockade on access to Colney Hatch Lane from Hillside Avenue and Queens Parade Close.
Speaking after the meeting, Sue De Botton, chairman of the Holyfield Avenue Residents’ Association, said: “I think the procedures are appalling. I’m a charity trustee and if we had presented the papers two minutes before the start of a meeting it wouldn’t be good enough.
“The councillors should have been able to bring ideas to the meeting – not be forced to think about it on the spot.
“Every morning we fear for our lives – it is so dangerous and is creating a very unpleasant environment in which to live.
“We don’t want to see a fatality before anything is done. I would also like to see a time frame on any decision. I have lived in the road for 20 years - I’m not prepared to wait another 20 years before they act.
“Tonight’s decision means we’re on our way and that they realise they can’t take us for granted any more – we’re a great, vocal, intelligent group and we will fight this all the way.”
Traffic surveys show thousands of cars use the residential streets as a cut through between Colney Hatch Lane and Friern Barnet Road.