It is weird isn't it. If you want to object to a planning application my memory is that it will appear as soon as you post it - don't see why this should be any different?
Totally agree that this is not effective consultation. The site is not that easy to use, and there are a lot of people who don't have internet access. I'd not noticed anything previously about these plans and though I'm not exactly the most observant person in the world I'd have thought I've have picked them up if they'd been distributed adequately.
I just called the Econmic Regeneration Unit and spoke with Deborah Hogan who told me that as far as she understands it, all comments, wherever they come from, are sifted and fed into "the document" (she meant the Wood Green SPD) - that's the point at which they become public. She thought that they didn't apppear on screen at any time. When I challenged the logic of this, since the system is peppered with "Who Said What" spaces, she admitted that she'd need to check with a colleague in planning. I also pointed up Alison's comparison with the Planning Inspectorate portal.
She's promised to come back to me today.
PS: I emailed to ask the same yesterday, but since it's not just me asking the question any more, I thought I'd ring.
The other thing I've noticed is that the map of the cycle plan (see 7.4) ends (conveniently perhaps!?) just as the southbound route exits Turnpike Lane at the Wightman Road junction. I'd question how sensible this is without some more attention to the traffic on Wightman, especially if they want to encourage more cyclists.
I've just posted two comments (about traffic and about cyclists). They are numbered 12 and 13 ...
Re Hugh's discussion with Deborah Hogan. If that is true (that you don't see comments til the end) then the way the system is set up is just barmy. Not only is it very confusing (you click on the 'all comments' button and are told that there are none) but it also sends out a very counterproductive message - that nobody is commenting on this document that they say is one of the most important thing that will happen in Wood Green in the next 25 years!
Absolutely, I also think it will put people off commenting if they think they are the only ones!
I have looked at government consultations and you can read all the comment/, responses there, some often very detailed and informed. They also operate discussion forums about the documents.
I have my suspicions as to why they would keep comments/objections invisble but the document suggests when you register that you will have visible comments and that it is possible to view the comments of others. Highly misleading and poorly designed at best if that is not the case. One wonders if the very process of online consultation set up by Haringey should be challenged, we will after all be paying for this.(I wonder how much)
Thanks for phoning by the way, H.
Have to agree with the weird 'what other's have said' being full of nothing. It sends a very skewed message (in the council's favour, I might say) that no-one is bothering to comment. For the record - here's what I jus put. At least we can prove we made comment by posting here?
As a resident of one of The Ladder roads (on one of the roads with a Primary School on it) I am very, very concerned by the prospect of Wood Green High Road becoming 'Bus-only' during 'daytime shopping hours' (confusion here - I wasn't aware of any 'nighttime shopping hours'?)
Briefly before I begin, for the benefit of other readers and hopefully contributors, I should like to clarify what TFL's '3G Strategy' is. Essentially, it is a Bus Priority scheme, giving buses right-of-way at junctions, more filter lanes for buses only and other schemes to improve bus journey times, and thereby hopefully reduce private car use.
If the concept of TFL's 3G is to ultimately reduce private car use, then using this as the reason to shut off Wood Green High Road to cars during the day is fundamentally seriously flawed; It is traffic from outside the area which uses this route most heavily - cars from the North Circular coming into the East End and The City / Central London, which can include traffic from Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and all surrounding areas to the East and North East. Any thinking that the improvement of bus journey times by a few minutes will lead to a drastic reduction in private cars is simply wrong, as the drivers of the cars which are the problem cannot replace their car journey with a local bus.
As I have just stated, The High Road, and subsequently Green Lanes between Turnpike Lane and Manor House, is a main arterial road from the North Circular Road towards Central London. If the High Road in Wood Green is closed off, all of this traffic will have to go somewhere, and the most likely route will be around the new link road and onto Wightman Road, from which all the residential Ladder Roads lead off, and which would subsequently be used to rejoin Green Lanes after Turnpike Lane. A simple point of fact is that Wightman and The Ladder Roads are all heavily Residential, with many young families with small children (and a number of schools), and to consider allowing them to become heavily trafficked is scandalous. I cannot understand how the council can consider closing a listed 'A' road (High Road and Green Lanes are the A105) with a preference to routing traffic down a residential 'B' road (Wightman Road is the B138) and subsequent residential streets. The danger to residents from increased traffic is not just an increased risk from being knocked over; The Ladder Roads could not cope with the additional exhaust fumes as they are narrow and Terraced, and so the build up of pollutants would be a serious risk to residents health. If this very serious possibility / probability is not considered, we will have our friendly, community spirited and relatively safe Ladder Roads simply degenerate into dangerous, smelly, polluted and health-risking traffic-ridden rat-runs.
I appreciate local councils trying to improve things in the area for residents, but I am afraid that this scheme will in fact have the opposite effect, and make our local area more congested and polluted. Not wishing to just say 'no' to suggestions, I wish to propose an alternative solution. Why not make the whole of the A105 south of the North Circular Bus-only during the day, thereby forcing through traffic to use either the A1 or the A10 to get into Central London? This would definitely alleviate traffic problems, thereby allowing buses easy journeys, and making all the roads in the area that-much quieter and safer.
Please do not turn our peaceful, friendly streets into simply through-ways for vehicles.
Object on the grounds of:
1. The reason for the scheme (ie improvement of bus services) to reduce private car use to be seriously fundamentally flawed, as the majority of the people causing the additional traffic and congestion cannot replace their car journey with any of the bus journeys.
2. Closing a public 'A' road to re-route traffic along a residential 'B' road, and it's heavily residential roads (with a number of schools also) which lead off of it (The Ladder) to be both dangerous and heavily polluting.
Totally agree, was just thinking that I wished I'd seen Gareth's first. Maybe this is why they don't want anyone to see what anyone else has written! Like Liz's, mine was a shorter version of 2. Less articulate too ...
Good arguments, however the point about making the whole of the A105 road into a bus only route might weaken your argument. History has developed A roads as such which you have mentioned in the first part of your argument and unless you create an alterative route such as a dual carriageway to relieve pressure from an A road, then it's hard to justify them becoming bus only.
I couldn't agree more. The point of my adding this part of my argument was that if they can justify making the Wood Green part of the A105 bus-only, why not make the whole of it bus-only, as surely the 'positive' effects would then be similarly increased? If they have a counter argument to this (ie 'where would all the traffic go'), then this also scales down to just the Wood Green section, ie 'Where would all the traffic go'?
It would be difficult to make the A105 between the A406 and Wood Green bus only as there are so many residential roads on that route. The same argument does not hold for Wood Green itself.
I think the crucial thing here is that there is adequate research and planning - that includes a major traffic survey. It strikes me that this is the kind of radical proposal that might have a positive impact in reducing the traffic through Harringay if a lot of drivers who use Harringay as a North-South route no longer find it attractive, but could also be a disaster if it simply routes the traffic onto the residential roads.
I like your clarity David; it's easy to get a bit steamed up about these things.
I agree that it could basically 'go either way'. Unfortunately, most Councils (including Haringey) have a long history of bad planning. They do in fact say in the SPD that the possible Bus-only concept would only come after major traffic surveys. I think it's important that at this time, we all voice our fears over the possible problems with different schemes, so that when surveys and research have been thoroughly carried out, schemes can be discarded if they would result in any of the outcomes we are concerned about and have made mention of now.
nb - cheers to Hugh - this is the first time I've felt like my opinion counts as a local, and it's thanks to HOL that local issues are easy to find out about, and thereby become involved with (hopefully with a positive outcome for our community :)