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Stirling Way burger van granted a reprieve as street trading ban is scrapped
The owner of a burger van feels as though a “huge weight” has been lifted off him after the council scrapped plans to ban trading in the street where he works.
Gordon and Tracy Tibbles have been afraid of losing their livelihood since Hertsmere Borough Council launched a consultation last year to make a slip road off Stirling Way a “no trading spot”.
Complaints of illegal parking, litter and traffic congestion in the area led councillors to implement a three month investigation in October to monitor the situation.
However, only one incident was logged, leading councillors to vote at last night’s executive meeting not to implement legal proceedings to ban people from trading there.
Speaking during the meeting, Councillor Morris Bright said: “We must be careful to make sure we don’t use a sledgehammer to crack a walnut. We did have issues and we looked into them, we asked environmental health to monitor the area with police, and by their own admission, there was only one logged report in the three months up to Christmas.
“We have to be wary in these difficult times, we don’t want to do things that will make life hard for people who run businesses.
"We have to balance that safety on streets and difficulties we have on highways. At this stage it is important businesses need to understand we’re not here to be punitive.
“I recommend we do not initiate the necessary administrative and legal procedures to ban street trading at this time.”
Morrisons has plans to build a petrol station on land near Stirling Way and Councillor Jean Heywood said she did not yet know how this would affect the street traders and the street as a whole.
She said: “I suggest we park this now and leave it as it is, and see what happens over next six to 12 months."
Cllr Bright added: “We need to leave the door open on this, we don’t know what impact the new petrol station will have on traffic flow.
“I recommend we leave this matter in abeyance, we may have to renew it after a reasonable perod of time when the petrol station is open, to ensure traffic safety still paramount. Our major concern, if there is an issue, is to see what can be done to make people as happy as possible.”
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Tibbles said the news was a “reprieve”.
The trader, 62, has launched petitions and run campaigns to convince the council his business was not responsible for accidents or traffic problems in the area.
He said: “This is wonderful news, I feel as though I’ve had a great load taken off me. Nearly a year not knowing whether my business would survive was horrendous. There has been a lot of heartache wondering if we would end up on the dole.
“My wife has said I’ve been horrible to live with because of the worry over losing my livelihood, this will make things much better.”
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