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.

more here scroll down on the news page

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

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That is fantastic news. Like others have said, I've a lot of sympathy with the desire to reduce car use in this area but the potential side effects for us were just awful. I was doubly worried after reading the summary of the consultation that was published last month (parts of which were rather misleading) - so this is just great news. Well done everyone, and thanks Haringey for listening.

On the car free day, we were away but walking north from MH tube later that afternoon the traffic seemed gridlocked - wasn't sure if that was down to the traffic restrictions in Wood Green.
This is good news.
But, as Liz says, it's not just about displacing cars to areas where residents haven't learnt to shout 'NO'. I've managed (with some difficulty and the occasional friendly lift) to be carless for 65 years 1 month 3 days (apart from two years' use in the late '60s of an old banger VW Variant around the laterite roads of Sierra Leone). Get public transport of all types vastly improved, then raise private vehicle purchase tax, petrol prices, road tax and parking fees by a factor of 'n'* - then London need not become like Los Angeles and we can all live and move and have our being.
*'n' = 'whatever it takes and then some'. And yes, I just felt like currying some popularity with all those yummy mummies in their 4x4s.
Even the YMs must be abandoning their cars according to this report. Now how do you feel about us yummies cluttering up your buses as well as your cafes and restaurants, Eddie, is nowhere safe?
The car free day was excellent.

The idea of banning cars/vans/trucks from the high rd was an interesting one. Pitty it wasn't thought through properly. I certainly don't remember our poll being about scuppering the plan entirely to keep traffic out of WG. I believed we were asking them to see if there was a better way to implement it and asking the council to think it all through more carefully.

Maybe polls (including those on HoL) are too simplistic. I don't think we have achieved anything particularly useful here. We've simply shouted and the council has now retreated into its shell. Have we as a site come up with suggestions?

We're back to a nightmare, pollution choked Wood Green. Mine you, shops are closing at such a fast rate that there will probably be nothing left to go to anyway.

More and more internet shopping is happening. Of course the goods still have to be delivered. Might as well put a giant warehouse at Felixstowe, put a call centre with 10,000 people in it and do away with high streets all together. Certainly the rejection of pedestrianizing WG for example and making that area a calmer, more inviting place to shop, will accelerate WG's continuing decline.

And please do remember, even those of you who don't own cars on principle are contributing to the pollution and noise on our roads each time you have that post, shopping, internet orders, delivered to your door ... or indeed if you pop down to Green Lanes and buy a few bananas. :)
Oh dear Matt, I have to agree with you for once.. Nimbyism at it's best.. Those who were against the scheme probably don't care a toss about whose house they drive by on their way home..
Phew! Thought I was going to get shot at from all sides there. Of course, someone will take a pop back eventually.
Stephen, I think if you came here and saw what effects recent ill thought through traffic changes have had on the Ladder roads you may be less inclined to write off people's concerns in the rather casual way you have done.
But there was so little traffic on the day Hugh. In fact it looked even quieter than normal. Plenty of people on this site commented on this.
Au contraire, Matt. Read the posts and you'll see that on Wightman Road (the only road we got a before and after for) traffic was up about 7% and that was despite the fact that traffic was all diverted east. One person commented on the mess in the roads to the north of Phillip Lane - another about the huge jams round Manor house. Imagine if that lot, or half of it, had been diverted through the Ladder.
Hmmm, you think the council was trying to divert the traffic away from those unhappy HOL lot?!
On Sunday,my brother, driving my parents down here, was caught in a traffic jam in the roads east near Westbury Road where all the traffic was being diverted to on the way in and reported that traffic was going round in circles, bet the residents were delighted (shame they don't have a website to express their dissatisfaction on), and then got trapped for an hour in a jam at 6.30 when he left to go home and this was a Sunday.

I simply don't believe that the decline of Wood Green would be halted if all the cars were made to round the long way. High Streets everywhere are struggling, we discussed Crouch End in an earlier post, and it will take imagination and risk in a different way, such as the planning of a night culture, incentives for smaller businesses such as rate holidays etc to help it
(and to be honest if we are going to be talking back yards we should be looking to the preservation and development of Green Lanes as a vibrant High Street, that's where it matters for Harringay residents)
Totally disagree Liz!

(Not actually..........completely agree. I'd love a car free GL - but can't see how it could be done with out messing up some other road)



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