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Burger van owners beg council to rethink Stirling Corner no-trading zone
Burger van owners will “not go down without a fight” if plans to make the area they trade in a no-parking zone come into force.
Gordon and Tracy Tibbles have been selling food from the Snack Bar, in Stirling Way, for 19 years – but Hertsmere Borough Council is consulting over whether traders should be banned from operating there.
The van is parked on the slip road outside Morrisons opposite Stirling Corner, a notorious accident hot-spot which drivers say is “terrifying”.
But father-of-five Mr Tibbles, who is campaigning to make the area safer, said crashes tend to happen on the other side of the roundabout to his van.
He added: “If I thought the crashes were all my fault I would be out of there in a shot – but I just do not see how the two are linked.
“It is going to wreck everything we have spent so long building. This is our life and our only source of income – what would we do without it? There is nowhere for us to go.
“It just seems so unfair because we have been here for so long without a problem. It is ridiculous the council can just come in and do this.”
The 62-year-old is now urging people respond to the consultation “carefully” to save his business.
Mr Tibbles and his wife have both started a petition to beg the borough council to withdraw the consultation, and so far around 2,000 people have recognised their plight.
Mrs Tibbles said: “This will be 19 years of hard work down the drain. It does not seem like the council knows the full facts – if it did, this would not be happening.
“They do not care about us and it is very sad. We will not go down without a fight – we built this place from scratch and it means everything to us.
“The thought of losing it is really unbearable.”
Councillor Jean Heywood, portfolio holder for transport and environment said: “We have received numerous complaints about road and pedestrian safety, illegal parking, litter and congestion.
“Letters have been sent to traders who may be affected by this proposal, the police, Hertfordshire Highways, councillors and other local businesses.
“All views on this issue will be taken into consideration before any decision is made as to whether to proceed with a formal public consultation.
“The roundabout at Stirling Corner is extremely busy. We have to balance the safety of pedestrians, motorists, bus passengers and the customers who use the food vans, with the needs of traders and local businesses.”