A GATE keeping street drinkers and gangs of youths out of an alley in Hayes town is making all the difference, say traders.
The narrow lane behind shops on the corner of Botwell Lane and East Avenue is now secure and restricted to the public, following calls for action from businesses and people living above them.
Yasmin Faria, who has run The Hairdressers with husband, Damian, for the past two years, said: “The gates give us some peace of mind for staff and customers.
“Before, you would get people drinking, leaving rubbish behind and the odd fight broke out. There wasn’t much trouble, but we feel safer now it is secure. We just all have to pull together to keep it this way.”
The gate is next to a Papa John’s pizza delivery shop, in Botwell Lane. There was already a gate at the other end of the alley and now traders and people living above the shops have each been given a key – and are being urged to keep it locked.
The project was coordinated by David Brough, chairman of the Hayes Town Partnership. He said it took a year to consult with landlords, traders and residents to demonstrate the need, then convince Hillingdon Council to stump up the majority of the cost.
Traders pooled some money and contributed around 10 per cent of the approximate £1,500 needed.
“There are a number of these backland areas in Hayes town which get ignored because no one is really responsible for them. They become unpleasant places that attract anti-social behaviour from a small majority,” said Mr Brough.
“The challenge now will be to make sure that the gates at both ends are regularly shut. The reaction so far has been very positive.”
A member of staff from Jenny’s Burgers, who asked not to be named, said: “It is early days, but there has definitely been an improvement.
“If everybody does their bit and shuts the gate after use it will be a lot better.
“Gangs would gather and smoke, and leaving their litter lying around.
“Some of the cars were also vandalised, and there was general disturbance.
“They would also make a lot of noise, but things have quietened down.”
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