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Stirling Way in Borehamwood to be monitored before street trading ban imposed
A popular burger van has been given a three-month reprieve after councillors voted to monitor the busy road where it trades.
Gordon and Tracy Tibbles, who have been selling fsat food from the van for 20 years, are waiting to find out whether they will be banned from trading outside Morrisons in Stirling Way.
Hertsmere Borough Council is in the process of deciding whether to make the slip road a no trading zone following concerns about illegal parking, litter and traffic congestion.
The van is parked opposite a notorious accident hot-spot at Stirling Corner in Barnet, and street traders have been accused of contributing to accidents in the area.
Following a consultation on banning street trading in the area, the council’s executive committee decided last night to monitor Stirling Way to collect evidence on whether street trading was actually causing problems.
Speaking at Hertsmere Civic Offices in Elstree Way, environmental officer Paul Sawyer said there had been objections from police and from Morrisons about street trading in the area.
He said: “There have been two major petitions opposing the ban on street trading, which have collected 1,600 signatures.
“There has been a shortage of hard facts, so it would be sensible to spend some time collecting evidence and seeing how much of a problem these people really are.”
He added Morrisons was currently redeveloping the area and building a filling station, meaning the problem might go away on its own.
Council leader Cllr Morris Bright, who was chairing the meeting, asked whether there was any way of finding out how many of the people who signed the petition supporting the van actually lived in the area.
He said: “People might have signed the petition because they’re happy to use it, but don’t experience the problems caused by it.”
Councillor Anne Harrison suggested the van, which was used by staff from businesses in the street, might be better parked in one of their car parks.
She said: “There’s plenty of space in car parks along that stretch of road, if businesses are keen to use it at lunchtime, why don’t they get it off the road by offering a parking space.”
Councillor Harvey Cohen said the large number of signatures showed there was a high level of popular support for the van.
He said: “If people are concerned about the van, why are there not a high number of petitions from the other side. We want to be seen to be supporting small businesses.”
Councillors voted unanimously to monitor the situation in the run-up to the festive period, before deciding whether to enforce the ban.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Tibbles, 62, said he felt he was living with a sword hanging over his head.
He said: “I’ve been here for 19 years. There were no problems or complaints until Morrisons moved in.
“There are accidents on the A1 but there have never been any on this side of the van.
“We will keep fighting this but Morrisons have the resources to keep pouring money in until we’re moved on.
“This is our livelihood and I don’t know what will happen to us if we’re banned from trading here.
"We’re too old to find anything else now.”
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