RESIDENTS have clubbed together to install gates on a back street to keep out drug users and criminals.

Neighbours paid for the wooden gates which are now installed in Back Bar Lane, Astley Bridge after they became fed-up with people using it for drug-taking, fly-tipping, dog fouling and other anti-social behaviour.

They are now seeking permission to be able to lock the gates, with only locals being given the keys.

And residents are hoping to transform the area into a community space for children and families to enjoy.

Cllr John Walsh, ward councillor for Astley Bridge, said: “I personally am very supportive of the proposal, the residents have had problems with cars parked up, nitrous oxide cannisters, drug use and various incidents of fly-tipping.”

He added: “I would hope that if you remove one area which is a problem, then others will see that we are taking action.”

Recent incidents of crimes include in April this year a taxi driver was brutally assaulted by three men after telling one who had been using drugs to leave, while in August, a viral video showed a group of men fighting over a van in the street.

Residents hope that measures like gating off the alley will help to reduce crime in the area as a whole and help to make residents safer.

This would also allow the space to be used by families and children instead.

One 69-year-old woman who lives on one of the adjacent streets, backed the move.

She said: “Of course I want the gates to stay up, with the fly tipping we had to shift it ourselves because the council wouldn’t do it.

“Before we had lads and girls at the back smoking drugs, we found a little pack of drugs, I gave them to the police they didn’t want to know, there was dog poo all the time.

“It has got better since the gates were put up.”

The council itself, along with the emergency services would also hold keys to the alley, if proposals

The proposal is open for consultation on the council’s website until October 27 for people to have their say before a final decision on creating a 'gated community' is made by the council.