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Anger at 'ridiculous' closure of traffic gates in Woodford Green

PUBLISHED: 09:27 09 April 2015 | UPDATED: 13:47 09 April 2015

From L-R, Cllr Emma Best, Conservative candidate for Chingford and Woodford Green Iain Duncan Smith MP, Cllr Tom McLaren, Joel Herga and resident Liz Wheatley protesting the traffic gate closures.

From L-R, Cllr Emma Best, Conservative candidate for Chingford and Woodford Green Iain Duncan Smith MP, Cllr Tom McLaren, Joel Herga and resident Liz Wheatley protesting the traffic gate closures.

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Residents and councillors have launched a petition to stop the gates shutting.

Cllr Tom McLaren (Con, Church End) believes shutting the gates could impede the emergency services, harm small businesses and inconvenience residents.

Redbridge Council announced in the budget it would close the gates in Cavendish Avenue and Fairlawn Drive permanently in May 2015.

The gates currently stay open outside rush hour, to allow residents easy access to Woodford Underground station and Woodford Broadway.

Recorder readers expressed concerns about the time it would take them to get to the Tube and the affects on emergency services.

Cllr McLaren said: “The council have reassured us that emergency services will still be able to access there, however there will be some kind of delay.

“Those who have not been taken into account are the local businesses on the Broadway.

“Church End residents will stop shopping there because it will take them too long to drive.”

Geoffrey Stimpson, chairman of the Woodford Green Amenity Group, said the gates’ closure was “ridiculous” and would “leave people completely isolated.”

Cllr McLaren, who started the petition, added: “Residents could not believe councillors are having to come round and tell them there has been zero consultation on this.”

The petition received more than 200 signatories in four days.

The council has now asked for residents’ feedback, by April 23.

A spokesman said: “Redbridge is under a lot of pressure to make savings and this is a way that we can achieve a significant saving. It costs about £35,000 per year to open and close several gates.”

To give feedback email highways.parkingdesign@redbridge.gov.uk and to sign the petition visit tinyurl.com/saveourgates.

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