i think back lanes are wonderful places. When your kids are young, they want somewhere to ride a bike, somewhere to meet friends and somewhere to kick a football. Our back lane satisfied all 3 objectives. On a summers' evening or weekend you could your children could join the melee. We would have unknown visitors periodically and I'm sure my kids wandered into other peoples yards as well. There are problems however. They are not really maintained and cars use them as a ratrun. In fact , one near me ( Osborne Avenue/Holly Avenue ) has road humps to slow the traffic . I'll work out how to put a link to Google streetview , but in the interim, here's a screenshot.
I recall in the past that a few years ago the Council put some money was put into 'greening' some back lanes in Heaton
Here's another streetview screenshot of one that was greened .
Some Fern Avenue residents have been discussing 'sleeping policemen'. Our back lane is used as a ratrun for vans, lorries and taxis , as well as residents , who don't want to turn round at the top of the lane. The problem is that its a straight road and we worry about children coming out of back yards into traffic that cannot stop in time. The council have costed road humps for the other back lane (Fern Avenue/Queens Road) at £11000. There is no chance of the Council having the funds to pay for this - I wonder if there are people who would fund it ?