East Finchley's Labour councillors have welcomed news from Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, that a much needed fence will be installed by Transport for London on Long Lane to prevent access to an embankment next to the North Circular. The embankment has long been a source of crime, such as antisocial behaviour, drug dealing, burglaries and fly-tipping.
In a written question to Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, London Assembly Member, Andrew Dismore, urged Transport for London to install the fence, and asked what the cost would be.
Cllr Arjun Mittra said: "We have been trying to get this fence for years, and I hope this signals the end of the anti-social behaviour here. There was far too much buck-passing under the previous Mayor, but I am relieved that it has finally been resolved."
Cllr Alison Moore added: "This small scrap of land has been a real nuisance to neighbours, but it could be a valuable little green space. We are grateful to Mr Dismore for pressing this with the new Mayor, after the previous one repeatedly refused to take any action."
Text of written question from Andrew Dismore AM:
On a recent site visit with ward Councillors and officers from both Barnet Council and TfL, a plan of action was agreed to install a fence on Long Lane in East Finchley, adjacent to the North Circular. This is to enclose land owned by TfL which has been a source of dumping, burglaries of neighbouring properties and ASB. TfL has pulled the plug on the fence, citing budgetary reasons. What is the estimated cost of the wooden pale fence of 20 meters in length that would be required? (The materials at B&Q would cost no more than £600) Do you consider TfL's estimate to be excessive? Will you now instruct TfL to do the right thing by the local residents, given the unacceptable impact this is having on their lives? If not, would you ask TfL to fund the materials and give permission to enable local DIY enthusiasts to do the job for you?
TfL will undertake these works by the end of January 2017. The total cost of installing the fence is just under £2,000 - this is for standard materials, labour and an element of design. This work will be carried out by approved contractors, meeting the safety standards required
TfL had initially planned to delay these works until the new financial year but it was agreed that any further delay to this scheme is unacceptable, given the discussions that have taken place with the London Borough of Barnet.