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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Coolhat, Isobel - I think Hugh, Liz, WightmanPaul, Alison and others have given you your answer. Perhaps if like them you had chosen to be prime movers in this very valuable piece of really LOCAL (not=nimbyist) community co-operation, you would now be putting these arguments just as strongly. You chose not to, so now you want to put ridiculous allegations of our little success bringing all Wood Green's future to a full stop. Tosh, indeed - but Hugh is a very patient and polite guy.
caps = shouting, isobel.
Isobel, the traffic was counted for 15 minutes in every hour betwen 0700 and 1900 on the Sunday before the car-free day and on the car free day itself. The exercise showed a 7% overall increase in the number of vehicles using Wightman Road on the car-free day vs the previous Sunday (and remember, this is inspite of the fact that traffic was diverted to the east). The data is unimpeachable and perfectly credible. It's not rocket science.

As to consulting experts, of course we didn't. That's exactly what we were demanding of the Council. That's their job. They HAD NOT done so at the time the proposals were made. They failed to do so in several other local traffic schemes. It is their duty to do so not ours. Their past neglect has caused many of current problems. Their past neglect gave us every reason to believe that experts would not have be instructed prior to the proposed change.

How on earth do you have such faith in the people who planned the Sainsburys' / Arena traffic changes Isobel?
It's really very simple. The volume of traffic will not decrease just because it's car free day (unless measures are taken to make this happen) so the same volume has to find other ways to get though, like water around a dam. The obvious places are the north/south routes. There is only one alternative north/south route locally and that is Wightman Road. The way on to Wightman is Emdymion Road in the South and Turnpike Lane in the north. But for drivers who are caught unawares (like most would be on Car Free Day), it means heading straight up or down one of the ladder roads. Using the dam analogy, the water does not go away, it finds a new course.
Hang on a minute here.
1. There are almost 1000 members of HoL and only 600 odd signed the petition. I too very strongly object to HoL speaking with one voice. This is just a website, not a residents association. The petition was advertised here, that's all.
2. Why are you so sure that the council had already taken advice from traffic exports? They haven't in the past and they said that they hadn't this time. In fact they said it would be 100K for a comprehensive traffic survey and that they didn't have the money.
3. Past performance of the council on traffic issues is not strictly an indicator of future performance BUT it is sufficient to object.

I went to the car free day. It was OK...
Isobel, if you wish to jump in with such conviction to dismiss other people's credibility and data as mere good intentions, could I suggest you keep up with the action, or at least the discussions relating to it. It's all on the site here - enjoy the search. (Why am I being so helpful and polite?)
Because you are a gentleman.
Thanks John - takes one to recognise one, I guess!

Isobel, I think it may have been your absence from the kitcen in the first place that's part of your problem.
You're gonna get a 'slap' for that, yah cheeky oldie
You still up for tea in my kitchen?
I am unclear why there are some who believe that this tiny part of the SPD being shelved means the end of the Wood Green regeneration programme. Having a car free High Street was ONE paragraph of an overall strategy that runs over a tome far too big even for the saddos like me that read council documentation. Where were all these voices when we debated this a few months ago? Why did you not speak up? Where were your contributions to the online consultation? Where was your car free petition? How can you wake up now and start shouting how wrong we are? Why did you not offer counter evidence online and at residents groups meetings that we were wrong?

Do you seriously believe that pedestrianisation would result in all the betting shops and pound shops (oh dear I use those) would disappear to be replaced with organic yoghurt shops and Fresh and Wild, McDonalds would shut up shop and be replaced with Giraffe, we'd start seeing Twiggy down at M & S?

I refer you to an earlier comment that the real reason Wood Green is on the decline is that the people who traditionally shop there have less money and they can't afford the consumer goods sold there, chasing the so called 'affluent' shopper as it says in the article is a nonsense, they will not change simply because they can walk from Maplins to Boots.

Also 'one swallow does not a summer make' and one car free day is no evidence that pedestrianisation would be a rousing success unless you are imagining that this will be how it is every day, no, when the stalls and the funny bikes have gone, it will still be Carphone Warehouse and Sainsbury's that the shoppers are left with. You talk about the credibilty of arguments but I have yet to see a case being made that proves that slabbing over the road would be the saviour of the Wood Green retailers.

Instead in this debate, those who have questioned one tiny paragraph of a strategy, have been called 'Nimbys', 'selfish', there have been suggestions of dictatorial behaviour and lack of credibility when there has been not one shred of evidence offered from the pro-slabbing brigade that this measure will in any way shape or form rescue the High Street apart from one day when everyone had a nice time.

As someone who spends a lot of time in the heat of kitchen and living room watching the ever increasing traffic caused by short sighted proposals, badly planned developments like the Arena with more round the corner in the shape of Tottenham Hale, the Heartlands, Finsbury park and not one suggesting that they would be car free, I find it extraordinary that people can be so naive as to believe that the council who gave us Williamson Road, can deliver a pedestrianised Wood Green without it being a huge cock up.

And if you care about a High Street, start caring about one that really is in your backyard, Green Lanes!
That's quite right Liz, Pedestrianisation alone won't make the thing work.. Don't forget, Buses will still be trundling up and down, about six routes with at least one bus every ten minutes (29 more), so around 40 - 50 buses per hour in each direction..

My point about the earlier scheme was the 'relief road'.. IMO You can't really do something like that without a relief road..
Or a green corridor overpass, going right over the top of Shopping Shitty. It could be lit up to compete with the Wembley arch



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