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Plea to stop drivers smashing into homes

PUBLISHED: 17:58 07 June 2007 | UPDATED: 14:33 07 September 2010

FED up residents are demanding Barnet Council slow down traffic to stop the familiar sight of cars smashing through their front gates. A motorcyclist died in a crash on West Heath Road, Childs Hill, two years ago and neighbours say more

By Katie Davies

FED up residents are demanding Barnet Council slow down traffic to stop the familiar sight of cars smashing through their front gates.

A motorcyclist died in a crash on West Heath Road, Childs Hill, two years ago and neighbours say more needs to be done to improve safety.

In recent incidents drivers have escaped unharmed but residents claim it is only a matter of time before a motorist or someone standing on the driveways is killed.

Martyn Woolf, 75, who lives on West Heath Road, said: "It took us a very long time to get the council to even put in a slow down sign. Our gates get knocked down so many times it is hard to remember how many. It is at least five times.

"On one occasion someone came through the gates into the garden and destroyed my little car parked in the driveway. People see this road as a racetrack and something has to be done."

One recent incident involved a pregnant nanny who crashed through the gates with children in the car.

Cars have also been spotted racing on the wrong side of the road.

Lorraine Thomas, who runs Camden charity the Lowe Syndrome Trust, recently photographed a Volkswagen that crashed in the street.

She said: "I have seen a wall demolished at least three times.

"They come crashing through the wall into the drive and if we are coming out of the house they just miss us.

"We are just really nervous about it. We have all being trying to get the council to organise humps or speed cameras or something to slow it down - one death is enough."

Her husband Andrew Thomas said: "We are right next to Golders Hill Park so we have lots of elderly people and children who walk this way to get there and people speed along past them.

"There are no bollards separating traffic and that is a problem as well because that would make people slow down. We have two electric gates and they have both regularly been taken out. It is really dangerous."

Child's Hill councillor Susette Palmer campaigned for years for safety measures on nearby North End Road. She is now supporting the fight to slow down the cars on West Heath Road.

She said: "There are cars smashing into all the gates. The council really has to do something. Anyone standing in the driveways could be killed. The Tory council's thinking is against bumps and speed cameras but it is something we are going to push hard for."

A Barnet council spokesman said: "In recent years we have carried out significant work to West Heath Road to make it safer.

"We spent around £50,000 to reduce the effect of an adverse camber and also installed a vehicle-activated sign warning drivers to slow down.

"Parking spaces were also removed to increase visibility on the bend. We have also asked the police to carry out speed enforcement checks on that stretch of road."

katie.davies@hamhigh.co.uk

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