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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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Ha ha H, well if you look closely I don't mention car free because that I think would be difficult, except for feast days and festivals of which we could have many, just that there is another High Street much closer to home that deserves our love and attention which is our beloved Grand Parade/Green Lanes.
I would much rather put my energy into the high street I shop on daily (even if I am killing the planet when I buy a few grapes and olives there) than one I rarely venture onto because it has little to offer me (except books of course, BGBS move here, you wouldn't have to change your name!)
Principle and until recently, no money and still no driving licence, (couldn't afford the lessons!)

Don't forget its not all about principle, many low income families don't have cars (not possible to run one if you live on less than £10 a day). It may be that people who shop at Wood Green are not going there because they have no extra money to spend at this time, not because of the cars. With a loaf of bread over a pound in the supermarket and other essentials like heating your home and paying rent (as landlord's mortgages go up so do tenant's rents) sky rocketing, perhaps people are simply foregoing the kind of consumer goods being sold there. After all there are very few places in WG to actually buy food that aren't expensive except Morrison's.
Yes these points are all true.

However, when 'poor people' do get an increased income often the first thing they do is buy a car because they're fed up with getting taxis and the bus. I for one see no strange logic in that.

Some shops in WG are busy. Wilkos for one. But yes on the whole people are keeping their wallets firmly in their pockets. With energy prices shooting up 50% in 12 mths who can blame them/us. And the mortgage market is about to get a whole lot scarier too.
Landlords are not always in a position to pass increases in their mortgage payments on to their tenants. Rental is a different market and subject to it's own fluctuations in demand.
I don't think this petition was simplistic at all Matt. Paul took a good deal of time and trouble to ensure all the facts were clearly set out. I'm glad to read that it sounds like you understood what you were signing.

I think we've achieved a tremendous amount for Harringay with this. We stopped the implementation of yet another poorly thought through traffic scheme - we're already suffering from the schemes for the Gardens closure, Hermitage Road Closure and the expansion of the Arena Shopping area.

What is now open for the Council is to consider implementing a scheme which wouldn't have huge downsides on neighbouring areas.
BTW, I'd just like to mention.. the plan to pedestrianise WG High Rd goes right back to 1966. (I have a photo and of a map somewhere).. I'll have to dig it out. It was all part of the scheme to 'modernise' the shopping centre and make it one of Outer London's major shopping areas, the others being Romford, Ilford, Harrow, Bromley, Kingston, Ealing and others that I can't remember.

The building of the shopping city was part of this scheme, as was a 'relief road' to the east of the shopping area between Turnpike Lane & Lordship Lane.

I was always surprised that this plan came as a shock to you.. as I say, it's been planned since 1966.
I hadn't realised that. Interesting. I guess back in 66 the local implications would have been alot less. I remember meeting a client who grew up on the Ladder in the fifties and sixties, came back here in the nineties and his main impresion was of all the extra cars parked here. Car ownership has multiplied many times over in the last 40 years.
Cars had a much narrower footprint back then too. Look at those old photos of ladder roads with one car parked there and you can't imagine why they'd want to make it one way.
I hope so Hugh but normally when things like this get 'axed' it means the whole plan loses its head of steam and drifts off into the wilderness.
Well then Matt, perhaps we ought to start by working with the Council to develop a solution to the Ladder traffic which will deal with any changes to the WG High Road as well as all the other changes about to hit us.
Has anyone on HoL found an individual to talk to in the council about traffic issues?
Yes, Brian Haley, but he won't talk to us. Even I gave up for a while after twenty calls and as many emails.



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