MOTORISTS who have been ‘running the gauntlet’ on a busy road where youths have been involved in a spate of brick-throwing incidents causing thousands of pounds in damage to cars have been told they are much safer after the landowner blocked the yobs’ access point.

Youngsters have been scaling the banking of the former railway line where the bridge used to go across Barnsley Road, Cudworth, since November.

Several buses and four cars have since been damaged which has involved bodywork being dented and windscreens being smashed as the objects were thrown down into the traffic from height.

Network Rail, the landowner, admitted in January it could take ‘months’ to fix a problem exacerbated by the lockdown period but the Chronicle can reveal a long-term fix has been fitted which includes fencing with spiked ends, making the bridge difficult to access.

Coun Charlie Wraith, who represents the Cudworth ward, said: “Waiting up to six months for work was not possible as it’s simply too long and motorists have effectively been sitting ducks for quite some time, so the council extended the fencing and bushes were cut back to aid sight lines.

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“We’re lucky in a way that only vehicles have sustained damage, not their drivers or passengers. By carrying out work to the fencing and sprucing up the adjacent access, it’s given us better views which will hopefully allow people to identify those responsible should this continue.

“The fencing has been much-needed for a long time so I’m thrilled it’s now in place motorists no longer have to run the gauntlet when they’re going about their daily business.”

Local police bemoaned the site, known locally as The Valley, because of its easy-to-access nature and its hiding places which were allegedly being taken advantage of by yobs, so it’s hoped the measures carried out this week will help allay the danger.

Nearby CCTV has also been put in place to warn teens from continuing their behaviour, which Coun Wraith said was a ‘miracle’ no-one had been injured.

Sergeant Richard Wilson, whose policing team is based on nearby Manor Road, said officers dealt with the issue ‘robustly’.

“The council and police approached Network Rail simultaneously regarding this as it’s something that’s caused a lot of public concern as it’s dangerous and clearly needed to be stopped,” he added.

“There are a lot of hiding places on both sides of the former bridge, but in particularly on The Valley side. We’re continuing to monitor this and patrols are being done.”