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Highgate Wood is off limits to mums and buggies

PUBLISHED: 16:31 13 November 2008 | UPDATED: 15:36 07 September 2010

HIGHGATE mums with buggies and off-road prams are being denied access to their favourite beauty spot. Highgate Wood is off limits to baby pushers because of gates designed to stop cyclists. Peter and Claire Roughton, who live on Kenwood Road, tried to t

HIGHGATE mums with buggies and 'off-road' prams are being denied access to their favourite beauty spot.

Highgate Wood is off limits to baby pushers because of gates designed to stop cyclists.

Peter and Claire Roughton, who live on Kenwood Road, tried to take a walk at the weekend but were stopped in their tracks at the gates on Archway Road.

"We had twins in September. A couple of weeks ago we made our first visit to Highgate Woods with our tandem buggy when we became aware of the problem," said Mr Roughton.

"We do accept that we have a large buggy to accommodate our two babies but we purchased it on the basis that it would fit through a standard door frame - and our local park gates!

"It is very inconvenient and we are in dialogue with the Corporation of London to find out whether they would be prepared to make the gate big enough for a tandem buggy like ours to access the woods.

"We have received a very helpful response from Jonathan Meares, the manager of the woods, who is looking into the problem and we are hopeful that the gates will be enlarged."

The couple, who had twins two months ago, said the only other way into the woods is to take a 20-minute walk around to Onslow Gardens - something they say is very impractical.

"We use Highgate Woods quite regularly because it is our nearest park and we would very much like to be able to access it from a gate which is near to our house," added Mr Roughton.

"I think it is unfair that the gates prevent a parent with two children in a large buggy from accessing the woods though accept that irresponsible cyclists need to be deterred."

The gates were adapted 18 months ago to deter cyclists from using Highgate Wood as a rat run.

A City of London Corporation spokeswoman said: "When designed, the entrances were tested with wheelchairs and conventional double buggies (side-by-side style) to ensure they were accessible. However, we have realised that newer designs of buggies - off-road, three-wheelers and front-to-back double buggies - are much longer than conventional buggies and so have problems using these entrances.

"We are currently looking to see how we might be able to adapt some of the entrances to the wood to ensure they are accessible for those with wider or longer buggies.

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