Campaigners concerned for safety of children as park opened to vehicles
- Credit: Archant
Neighbours living in a conservation area within Kingsbury have criticised the council for allowing their park to be used as a “public highway”.
Members of Roe Green Resident’s Association (RGRA) say a decision to leave the Roe Green Park gates open, is a danger to children, vulnerable adults and pets.
Brent Council had a meeting with its commercial tenants recently to discuss access to the park to which residents living in the area were not invited.
Debbie Nyman, a member of RGRA, said: “We’re just fuming. The council has given a number of commercial leases to organisations who can freely enter the park.
“We have people from Veolia and the nursery, which is right opposite the playground, and a special needs school all accessing the park – that’s a lot of traffic. There are no notices at the gate to advise people that this is for access only. Only the 5mph sign.
“There was a gate at the front of Roe Green Park which was being ‘manned’ by a Brent Council officer because the automatic barrier, installed at great expense, was not robust enough to take on enraged drivers who managed to drive through it, or just break it off.”
In a letter to residents after the meeting the council said the park “should be left unlocked and open” to “mitigate health and safety concerns raised by tenants” about the safety of school pupils.
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Ms Nyman added: “The children can be walking through the park and suddenly there’ll be a car cruising behind them. That’s not a park. The council are allowing the park to be used as a public highway while we are trying to keep it as a space for people.”
A spokeswoman for Brent Council said the initial meeting was arranged by tenants. She said: “Our priority is the wellbeing of the children that attend the park. The gate is being left unlocked in order to mitigate health and safety concerns raised by all the tenants and to make sure the welfare of vulnerable pupils is not compromised by anything that might obstruct easy access for the emergency services.”
She added: “The barrier has been vandalised and whilst we are not looking to repair at the moment we are working with tenants to reduce traffic congestion and address the current issues on site.”