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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

For more details please see our blog post here

We'd like to say a huge Thank You to everyone who helped, by printing and distributing leaflets, campaigning on social media, crowdfunding, spreading the word to friends and neighbours, to the organisations and individuals who sent us messages of support, and of course to everyone for completing the survey!

Unfortunately the campaign is far from over, as we understand the council currently proposes to ignore the majority view ... please see the blog post for more details.

Tags for Forum Posts: harringay traffic study

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You have hit the nail on the head John. People want their own road to have light traffic, be safe and not polluted but don't mind using other people's roads to excess to save a little time and avoid traffic. The problem is there is a real disconnect here in people's minds about what is acceptable to their living environment but not caring much that their actions impact on fellow residents.

The disappointing thing is that other councils (Hackney) have gone to real effort to protect many of its residential streets from rat running. And it doesn't seem to push the traffic onto the main road (Green Lanes, Hackney) which I find remarkably low in traffic (compared to the Haringey side) which is a breath of fresh air (excuse the pun!).

Hackney are part of our problem. They're not allowing traffic to filter east/west below us which drives it north or encourages it to head through us south. Islington are the same. They're both wonderful to cycle through but we need to get in on the same game here.

Just to illustrate, there is no right turn coming north on Green Lanes for Seven Sisters. People get around this by doing a dangerous right hand turn into the congested Woodberry Grove where they have the same anger management issues we used to have on a two-way ladder, or they continue up Green Lanes to St Anns Rd where they can finally turn right. This is one reason why Hermitage and then The Gardens were closed. This is why we are crying for a "holistic" solution, because we're the last rat-run in this area.

Karen - Maybe not quite how you meant it, but I think the thousands of Harringay "fellow residents" who don't live on the Ladder, and had to endure the appalling congestion and disrupted public transport during last year’s closure, would see your comments as an accurate summary of the Living Wightman campaign:

“People want their own road to have light traffic, be safe and not polluted but don't mind using other people's roads to excess to save a little time and avoid traffic. The problem is there is a real disconnect here in people's minds about what is acceptable to their living environment but not caring much that their actions impact on fellow residents.”

Don, take a look at this post on LivingWightman.  In fact the closure of Wightman during the bridgeworks actually improved air quality over a wider area and although you have tried to throw my comment back at me I stand by it. Filtering (not closure) would have huge benefits but it would have to be done properly and the issues that caused problems last year mitigated.


The conclusion to that post is:

"There does seem to be strong evidence in favour of the assertion that filtering Wightman Road, after an initial disruptive period of adjustment to surrounding traffic flows, within a few months actually had an overall beneficial effect on pollution levels across a much wider area; and no evidence at all for the idea that the many other benefits of filtering Wightman were only bought at the expense of making pollution worse elsewhere."

The consultants showed us a map of pollution in Harringay at the steering committee meeting last week which is in their existing conditions document (http://www.haringey.gov.uk/sites/haringeygovuk/files/existing_condi... page 111) the roads with levels of dangerously high pollution are Green Lanes, West Green Road, Turnpike Lane, St Ann's Road and Endymion Road. The biggest polluters are tfl buses and domestic gas boilers which together account for 44%, diesel cars and HVGs account for 17.7%, other HGVs for 10.6% and private petrol cars for 5.9%.

So when we're taking about reducing pollution these are the roads we should be we concentrating on first and we should be campaigning for more hybrid buses and less HGVs, imho.

The good news is the 341 bus is due to be replaced by hybrid buses by or during next year so that will help reduce pollution in the area.

I don't know where LW's evidence comes from but the consultant's document says, "caution should be applied in drawing conclusions from this data [the data in the Existing Conditions document], due to the short term nature of the monitoring and the limited number of sites outside of the immediate road closure area."

I admire Living Wightman for their organisation, fund raising and sheer determination. However I don't agree with their aims and their arguments have not made me change my mind on the matter. I do agree with Don's post.

Karen - I don’t take issue with the pollution stats (except to say that some of them reflect school holiday months, when traffic lessens anyway), and any reduction is clearly a benefit to everyone in Harringay - or even Haringey. But I do question some of LW's underlying assumptions. 

So many posts on here and the numerous other Wightman threads complain about road closures in the Gardens, Hermitage, Hackney or Islington - and then propose to do exactly the same thing on the Ladder. If it’s unfair and antisocial to close all these areas, how does that make it OK to do the same thing to Wightman?  Harringay may be one ward, but, taking Hugh’s definition of its boundaries for HoL purposes, it’s a much bigger area than just the Ladder roads; we all know from last year’s experience that Wightman closure has a huge and negative impact on adjacent roads and especially on Green Lanes, which remains the whole area's main artery.

There are constant complaints about “non-local” traffic on Wightman, but nobody knows for sure what the actual proportions are, because there’s no way of monitoring where journeys actually start and end. And nobody has ever defined “local”: living in Glenwood, I'm just as “local” as Ladder residents, but does that suddenly make me “non-local” if I’m in a cab that uses Seymour or Wightman? There often seems to be an underlying belief that each Ladder road is only for the exclusive use of the people who live on it.

It’s simply not feasible that Ladder and Wightman residents have never, ever, used another residential road as a short-cut (aka “rat run”) - exactly what they accuse “non-locals” of doing here - but you’d never know it from so many HoL comments. It happens all over London; Harringay’s geography makes it a hard problem to crack, but I believe any answer must start with the wider Haringey area, from the North Circular down to Seven Sisters Road, and not just an individual patch where a specific closure would have ill effects on so much of its surroundings.

I'm not entering the filtering debate. My views about it are pretty mixed. But I'll chip in on one point.

For me non-local traffic has always meant non-Haringey (yes not even non-Harringay, let alone non-Ladder). The Wightman closure brought evidence aplenty, both anecdotal and study based.

On an anecdotal note, in the first days of the closure, one of the traffic marshals up by Turnpike Lane told me that about 70% of the traffic he was turning back was out of borough. 

The consultants used an accepted methodology during the study and came up with a somewhat lower but still very significant proportion. I don't remember exactly what the figure was now. 

There was an origin study carried out by the consultants using, I think, number plate recognition. Somewhere there is a breakdown of where the vehicles passing through the area started their journies. I can recall the actual number but I do recal that the proportion of non-local traffic was very large.

For me what it all boils down to is that traffic management so far has been all about making life easier for the traffic but bloody miserable for people living in the area. This traffic study had one of its aims as being to provide an holistic solution for the whole area as many of the problems we face now have been due to tinkering over many decades. So one area gets dealt with which make the problem worse for another one.

It seems that that aim has been abandoned and again there will be some minor tinkering. I do think though that there is a lot in what Karen says. A lot of people here are now living in a combination of a car park and A road. As I'm siting typing, cars are thundering up my road (Warham) and I know that over the next few hours it will just get worse and worse.
What I was hoping to get from this year long study were proposals for how people living here, and I mean the whole area and not just my road, were going to be given some measure of protection from the year on year increase of vehicles using local roads, in the same way that protection has rightly been given to The Gardens, Hermitage, south of Seven Sisters Road and so on. But Haringey have just shied away from this because it's too hard.

I wasn't asking for anything better than than what the residential roads in the surrounding areas already have. I just want the same.

instead of looking for issues from the work that has already been done here, perhaps alternative suggestions on what to do about the situation might be more helpful.  Ideally, an outsourced consultation should be done and surely that is down to the council to pay for.

There already has been an outsourced consultation Christopher, run by the traffic consultants.



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