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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Haringey Council seems intent on closing more of Wightman Road than necessary to prevent an increase in traffic on the ladder roads which sounds laudable (providing you live on a ladder road.)

If traffic can no longer go down Wightman Road, it will have to find an alternative route like Turnpike Lane or Green Lanes. This will significantly increase the traffic on those roads and cause more congestion which could be relieved if the ladder roads were open to traffic.

If my local main road was closed, I should expect more traffic to come down my residential road temporarily and why not?

Poorly thought out road works have played havoc with both public and private transport largely due to poorly thought out arrangements pandering to nimbyism.

 Surely it would be best to simply close the smallest section of Wightman Road possible which would be one ladder road north and south of the bridge?

Tags for Forum Posts: traffic, wightman bridge, wightman bridge closure

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I do understand the point, I will refrain from commenting about other parts of the road and just limit myself to the Ducketts common section.  I don't understand why this section needs to be blocked off at all. Yes people can ran run up and down to green lanes, however they always did, and by the time they have fought all the way up green lanes, cutting off one corner will not make to much difference to the amount of traffic however would make a big difference for the residents, as it would allow people in the neighbourhood to park "north" of the great wall, if they prefer easy access to crouch end, at the moment everyone is being forced south to green lanes. But hay what ever happens I will live, I am more worried about the zero passing trade for the local businesses, and want them still to be around after the work is finished.

And yes, I live on the first up street so yes I would be getting all the traffic past my door.

I think I have a solution for your problem accessing the dump/Refuse Centre as I also need to go there and did it yesterday -it's this- I went down and out on Willoughby as you say, then on to Turnpike, all the way along turning left into the closed section of Wightman to U turn and go up Mary Neuner/Western Park Road towards the Refuse Centre- then onwards towards up Western Park rd to the roundabout at Mayes Rd and the route through to Muswell Hill over the bridge at Ally Pally Rail station. 

Timing wise I went north around 4.10pm and came back at 7pm. The journey back it was slow to turn left on to Turnpike but apart from that actually traffic moved quite well on both that road and Green Lanes where I turned on to it. 

That is a very good point, turning left into wightman to do the turn right is not something that had occurred to me in the heat of the moment, and something that normally would be complete madness. However at the moment its an excellent idea one which I will be trying tomorrow.


I completely agree so who can we complain to? Apparently there were three options put to local residents who have a vested interest in reducing as much traffic as possible to the area. That I understand but there is a bigger picture and this closure is affecting the movement of traffic across the entire borough and beyond. Consultation should have been made to the larger geographic area it is affecting and we must make our concerns heard. Traffic backing up from Holloway to Bounds Green signals wightman road total closure is not appropriate.

erm... if i may... the traffic backing up to Bounds green does not appear to be connected *at all* to the wightman closure. I know as I had to get across it today - twice. It's heading both north towards bounds green tube- and East towards I know not what but agreed it backs up. I can also vouch for the fact that the queues didn't connect to the traffic around the closure. 

It is totally connected and chocca block. It's a route over the railway line where traffic is being forced due to two crossing being effectively removed - 1. The bridge that is closed for repair works, 2. Turnpike Lane crossing which is no longer an option due to total gridlock from full wightman road closure. The next choice is Ally Pally (took me 2 hours to cross yesterday) and so the traffic from there diverts to Bounds Green.

I've driven that route several times since last week and the queues have been the same pretty much exactly as they are today. Perhaps we are talking about different places. I mean going over Ally pally rail bridge at the back of Muswell hill back towards Wood Green, and then also up from the roundabout on the WoodGreen side up towards the Bounds Green /north circular route. As soon as you pass the Decorium at the back of Wood Green Mall and turn right going south back down Hornsey Park Road the traffic clears again. (it stays congested towards Wood Green- just not going towards the ladder which is why I say it's not directly connected, in addition to the fact that it was the same before the closure started) I guess you know there are temporary lights at the junction of Colney Hatch Lane and Alexandra park road causing problems in muswell H too...?

After walking around a bit yesterday and today I agree that it feels like far too much is blocked off. I can't figure out why you'd need to block right turn access out of the ladder roads that feed into Wightman. If I turn right on a ladder road that heads towards Crouch End, I'm going to be heading away from the bridge.

As it stands now we're forced to turn left towards the construction and then head down another ladder road towards the madness of Green Lanes rather than just carrying on down Wightman away from the construction. The last thing I want to do is have to sit in traffic on Green Lanes when I'm trying to get to Muswell Hill or beyond.

I assume the problem would be that roads such as Burgoyne and Duckett would be very busy once people realise they can't go any further along Wightman.

"I assume the problem would be that roads such as Burgoyne and Duckett would be very busy once people realise they can't go any further along Wightman." <- EXACTLY.

So play God and pick a road to allow the 60,000 extra car journeys in the next 6 months. I choose Turnpike Lane.

This was a really tough choice for the traffic planners. Personally I find it hard to feel that I'm in a position to second guess them. 

Wightman Road in fact normally gets 120,000 vehicles each week, counting both northbound and southbound. (That's about 75% of the level of traffic movements on Harringay's stretch of Green Lanes).

With the bridge closed, that traffic had to go somewhere. Without the current closure, much of it would no doubt have continued to use Wightman with a deviation via Green Lanes. That means that both the northbound and southbound traffic that would have normally accessed Wightman via Endymion Road and Turnpike Lane would now have to enter or exit Wightman via a Ladder rung road. In terms of the additional rung-based journeys,  a proportion of that would have filtered down rung roads anyway, let's say 25% . That leaves 75% of 120,000 vehicles a week that would now need to use the rung roads to enter or exit Wightman that would not normally have done so. So in fact that's 90,000 additional vehicles a week to be spread out across the rung roads. Let's assume that things run true to form and say 60% of that is drawn to the six key rat-run roads. That would be roughly 10,000 additional cars for each of those roads each week, leaving the remaining 30,000 to to be distributed across the other roads. Even if a proportion of the 90,000 is displaced as per the current set-up, it would still leave a huge number of additional rung-based movements each week. 

It should be remembered that this is additional traffic. As has been pointed out already elsewhere, the rung roads are streets that are already suffering from heavy traffic displacement after other local permanent road closures. The worst already get close to 20,000 vehicles a week.

Another outcome of the Ladder-based diversion option would be that whilst Wightman remains open more traffic would be drawn to Harringay than to other alternative routes. ALL that traffic which would have avoided Green Lanes in the pre-closure set-up, by using Wightman, would need to use our high street at some point to access the Ladder/Wightman diversion routes. That might add as much as an additional 50% to the Green Lanes traffic burden. So it's difficult to see how Green Lanes, a key bus route remember, wouldn't very much more heavily impacted than it already has been.

The chosen option, on the other hand, is seeking to spread most of the traffic more evenly across the principal route network, with the hope that some of the traffic that merely transits the borough, rather than originating from it or visiting it, would be displaced outside of the borough or that different transport choices would be made. 

Currently it's clear that the chosen option is having a bad impact on Hornsey, in particular. It may be that this will ease considerably. It may be that it won't. Clearly if the latter is the case the Council will need to review the diversion  - and I know that they will be doing just that.

The choice our traffic bosses had to make was a very tough one - choke 10,000 residents and two primary schools with traffic and its fumes for five months and jam up key route Green Lanes on the one hand, or, on the other hand, hope for traffic displacement to other major roads but run the risk of clogging up neighbouring key routes.

If you think the choice was easy, you're seeing something I'm not. With so many competing interests to balance, God alone knows which way I'd have gone. 

In the meantime, I spoke to Haringey traffic boss, Stuart McNamara yesterday. I know he's keenly aware of the downsides of the current arrangement. He spent the day trudging the streets yesterday talking to residents and traders in and around the borough. He told me that he's going to be doing a weekly review of the diversions, issuing a weekly bulletin and making any changes that are needed to fairly serve the interests of all the people of the borough. From many politicians, I'd take this as so much guff, but this guy has been good to his word so far. So I believe he's serious about doing this right. If events do prove that things need changing, I think he'll change them.

Fingers crossed everybody!

I had a flat in my car tyre last night so went to TT1 to get it fixed this morning, I was the only customer there, they seemed very worried and did not think they could last 6 months, which is a real shame. I do hope the do something to open up a north end a little.

Let's imagine no closure of Wightman Road. What would happen? Traffic would go up and down Umfreville and Burgoyne Road. These are the natural routes for drivers to take. Now i understand those roads are not capable of handling 120,000 vehicles per week for 5 months. But what about for 1 week? After 1 week you shut them off as is done currently and we move on to Cavendish and Duckett  to provide the link between Wightman Road and Green Lanes and so on...this would be painful for the residents of those streets for 1 week at the time but would allow Wightman to remain open and spread the burden across the Ladder 1 week at the time. If we take 4 of those street pairs it would mean 1 week per month of heavy traffic or 5 weeks in total for the entirety of the project. Just as a disclaimer: i live on Warham Road which is already experiencing a lot of traffic so i am not talking from a position of comfort here...



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