Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Proposals to transform Wood Green into a car-free shopping haven have been scrapped.

The plan had been drawn up in a bid to breathe new life into Wood Green town centre and establish it as a successful metropolitan shopping centre.

Pedestrianisation was mooted as one part of the image overhaul which Haringey Council hopes will attract “affluent” spenders to the area.

The proposals aim to tackle what the council sees as three decades of decline.

But at a planning meeting last Thursday council officers said they had dropped the idea following opposition from residents consulted earlier this year.

Around 450 people signed an online petition amid fears that banning cars from High Road would increase traffic in the Harringay Ladder.

Eddie Finnegan, of Wightman Road, said: "Bus-only or pedestrianisation of Wood Green High Road is superficially attractive until you consider the consequences. As a Harringay resident for 31 years I know what those will be. Traffic will be atrocious and it will only get worse."

Councillor Gina Adamou, who represents Harringay ward, said Green Lanes traders were also concerned that shutting off the high street would drive customers away.

The pedestrianisation plan had been devised to tackle the loss of trade in Wood Green.

Customers and high-quality retailers have turned their back on the area in favour of shopping centres at Brent Cross and Enfield, the council said. It suggested that pedestrianising High Road, or making it only open to buses, would make it safer and more attractive to shoppers.

Councillor Ray Dodds, deputy chairman of the planning commitee, said: “I know there are concerns, but there’s also an opportunity to do something really positive for Wood Green.

"Wood Green’s high street is dying. You go into Marks and Spencers and you can only get the end-of -the-line stuff, for anything better you have to go to elsewhere. That’s what Wood Green has been reduced to. We have to be more imaginative."

Officers said "no commitment" would be given to a bus-only High Road without a review of the impact of traffic on surrounding streets. But they said the council’s vision includes better bus routes and improved cycling facilities.

If the plan is approved, Shopping City will be redeveloped with the possibility of a department store moving to the area. The number of fast-food outlets and budget shops would be reduced.

Public services like a polyclinics and police “shops” would be introduced and Wood Green Central Library would be refurbished or relocated to a new premises in High Road.

A decision on the plans will be taken at a cabinet meeting on October 14.

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Tags for Forum Posts: traffic, wightman Road, wood green, wood green spd

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I think there were more people than that signed the petition!
A victory for people power!
That's great news. Let's give ourselves a big big pat on the back and a huge round of applause.

And for the record, there were 625 signatures, 450 of which were online. Guess they forgot to include the written signatures.
Feel a bit the same Jason. The idea in itself is a good one (priority for public transport and pedestrians) but the impact on the surrounding areas wasn't thought through. In Camden (where I work) we participate in car free day (or "in town without my car" or whatever it's called at the moment) every year and it has worked really well because a lot of work is done in advance to minimise the overflow it causes. One of the problems about having the High Road as car free is that is a major north/south route, both for local people and for those driving out of London. Maybe the message to Harringey is to try the idea in an area where the impacts can be better controlled - car free Ladder day?
Car free Ladder decade?
Can you just sort that one out please Hugh
A really interesting way to reduce car use that never seems to get discussed would to lower the speed limit in built up areas, and to rigorously enforce that speed limit. If you could only drive at, say, 15mph along Wightman road, you wouldn't use it as a through road to get out of London. Lower speed limits have the added bonus of reducing noise, pollution and the danger to pedestrians.
I'd also love to change attitudes towards cars as status symbols. For example, no-one needs a car capable of anything more than 70 mph (except the emergency services, maybe) so there's no need for an engine larger than say 1.4 litres. Acceleration should be limited as well - it's not a race track, it's a public road. And all cars should have some sensible safety features as standard - day-glo bumbers front and back seems reasonable.
But Danzigger some of us have been pushing for a 20mph limit for Wightman Road for the past couple of years to include us within the Ladder 20Zone. There's a long thread on it somewhere here, back in the late spring/early summer. We need a larger, more convincing campaign to push LBH and NRA towards this goal.
I think it would be great to get this going again. As Danzigger says, a reduced speed limit on Wightman would make it a much less attractive alternative to Green Lanes and may have the added impact of preventing cars using it to hop between Ladder Roads. It would need very though enforcement though to work.

I go along Wightman every working day up to Harringay station and it's worrying how many drivers don't even keep under 30 (I'm sure I've seen a few clocking 60 or 70 in the early morning). This on a road that provides pedestrian access to two primary schools (and only 3 crossings on the entire length!!)
I should also say thank you to the politicians from Haringey for listening to us. It helps to know that our voice counts. And thank you to our local councillors who gave voice on our behalf.
As a car free household, we too would wish for measures that discourage the use of cars, especially for short journeys, and increase the use of public transport, bikes and walking.
However, measures like this have to be weighed against the impact on surrounding areas. Its not enough to divert cars, people need to simply stop using them for non essential purposes but they won't do that until they have comfortable alternatives, so cars simply go elsewhere and in this case our fear was it would end up in residential streets which have a fair amount of traffic now and could not take too much more.
There are no quick fix solutions, people will have to come to decisions about car use themselves and decide what they can do, without its use. I've found most things can be achieved without owning my own set of four wheels...
Car issues aside - did anyone happen to go to wood green on sunday for car free day? I ended up having to go there in an emergency (I never usually shop in Wood Green) and it was hell! Not a nice atmosphere at all, even though you could tell the event organisers had tried hard.
How do you mean? I didn't go but I know a few people on the site were involved...they might appreciate the feedback



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