The voters may or may not not agree, but the politicians clearly see eye to eye on this one -- the proposal to turn Tally Ho into a car-free zone is the hottest issue in the area.

And it looks like staying that way right up until the local elections on May 7.

On Saturday the three Tory candidates for St Paul's ward launched a leafleting campaign urging people not to support the plans until "full and proper consultation" -- only to experience the full force of Labour's rapid rebuttal machine.

Within an hour, Labour activists had rushed a reply off the photocopier and were handing out their own leaflets on the streets in defence of the scheme.

The idea was first mooted by Barnet Council late last year. A public exhibition at North Finchley Library outlined plans, subject to public backing, to close a section of Ballards Lane to traffic and create a European-style walkway.

Conservative candidate Mary Phillips said: "Pedestrianisation will cause absolute traffic chaos for all the surrounding roads. We are not against the idea but this particular scheme from Barnet Council is not feasible.

"We would propose a full and proper consultation with residents, shopkeepers, emergency services -- everybody who needs to be involved."

St Paul's Labour councillor Katherine McGuirk accused the Tories of scaremongering. She added full pedestrianisation was designed to revitalise North Finchley and would only go ahead once there had been further consultation in the area.

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Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000.Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.