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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Don't Forget - Wightman Road Closed for 5 months from Next Tuesday (29th March)

In case it's escaped your notice or slipped your mind, Wightman Road will be closed to through traffic for five months starting next Tuesday 29th March.

This will be a significant dislocation to North London traffic movement. So much so that warning notices have been placed as far away as Archway. No doubt it will also have a significant impact on Harringay's traffic.

However, there really is no alternative to at least partial road closure. The railway bridge between Alroy and Wightman roads is being replaced and there will simply be no road for a few months!

One option the Council could have taken would have been to simply reroute the traffic via the Ladder rung roads. It is to their credit, however, they recognised that with over 16,000  vehicles a day using Wightman Road, this would have placed an intolerable burden on our narrow residential roads, already beset by undue traffic volumes.

After consultation with residents, the solution decided upon is to place blocks at regular intervals along Wightman Road, in effect creating clusters of two or three rung roads. Whilst this will retain unfettered access for residents. it will render the whole Ladder, including Wightman, useless as a rat run. You can clearly see the details on the full size pdf map attached below.

Quite what it will mean for traffic in Harringay, Haringey and further afield remains to be seen. Those of us who have been working with the Council on this very much hope that traffic will quickly find other routes. It's fair to say, however, that at very best, we're going to experience some very heavy congestion on Green Lanes for a month or so. 

At the same time, the Harringay traffic study will continue. The coincident timing of this piece of work with the bridge closure may be fortunate in that it will give the consultants an opportunity to study the outcome of diverting traffic away from Harringay. 

A pdf copy of the Wightman Road closure is attached, along with some Council-produced documentation. You can stay up to date with what's happening on the Wightman Road closure on a dedicated page on the council website here.

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

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I was chatting with one of the Haringey traffic team this morning. He's been managing the traffic marshals this week. He told me a few interesting facts.

1. He said that traffic congestion is improving vastly each day this week. Bus journey times are reducing by half each day, he said.

2. Apparently a key issue is the short right turn cycle form Turnpike on to Green Lanes. At the moment it only allows six cars through. TfL are working on extending this but by all accounts it's not a straightforward matter.

3. They've been stopping people to redirect them as they turn into Wightman from Turnpike. As they've been doing so they've been making enquiries about journey origin and destination.  Apparently three-quarters of journeys start and finish beyond the borough.

Great update. thanks Hugh

I'll second that, thank you Hugh. If 75% of journeys are starting and ending within the borough, that might explain why it does seem like the congestion is easing as each day passes: clearly word is spreading.

I'm not sure if that was a typo MLB, but for the avoidance of doubt, it's 75% of journeys starting and ending beyond the borough.

Sorry, I misread your post. Bang goes my theory!

I think was you said still applies though.

And - they're handing out maps of the road closures. I think they're doing an excellent job.

What is worrying is the number of drivers with very poor eyesight

Definitely improving - the tailback on Turnpike Lane was only up to the railway bridge at 10.30 this morning. If they solve that right turn cycle it'll make thing more like "normal". And Hornsey Park Road seems much quieter than usual today - which probably means many of the 75% are diverting well before they get into the area. Wonder if this is the calm before the schools return on Monday...

Very interesting statistics Hugh, many thanks. I had a similar experince driving back through Hornsey to the Ladder at 12.20pm today - started queuing at the Hornsey bridge and despite a wait through Turnpike Lane and then a drive up Green Lanes and onto the St Anne's Road/Salisbury Road one way system, I was home to Warham Road by 12.50pm. Longer of course but not as bad as I feared. Similarly I left home at 8am to drive to Alexandra Palace via Hornsey for a meeting and it only took 20 minutes - of course I'd given myself an hour!! I agree that it is the lights at Turnpike Lane/Green Lanes which are slowing things up.

I agree the traffic was dramatically better this morning, but the school kids are off....what will it be like next week?  

As I'm late to the chain i hope I've not missed this as a discussion point already.

Thanks Hugh, also seems that traffic is significantly easing to me. My own largely anecdotal observations so far: 

  • I believe Turnpike Lane/Hornsey High Street/Priory Road/Muswell Hill is the only east-west A-road between the North Circular and Seven Sisters Road? If so I suspect more of it should be red-routed or similar measures to keep it flowing - Turnpike Lane itself is nearly always a bit grim to drive along.
  • I don't think any traffic lights have been adjusted yet? e.g. the lights at Wightman/Turnpike Lane allowing eastbound traffic to turn right - the green light for turning right stays green for 20-30 secs even though most traffic can't do that. This would mean traffic backing up Hornsey High Street further than it needs to. As you also seem to be saying, the lights at the Turnpike Lane/Green Lanes junction maybe also need adjusting to increase the proportion of time for eastbound traffic turning right.
  • Endymion Road seems surprisingly quiet when I've been there - around 8am this morning for example. I would've expected some of that eastbound traffic on Priory/Hornsey High Street to have tried to cut through Crouch End onto Stroud Green Road and get onto Green Lanes via Upper Tollington  and Endymion. (Not that I'm encouraging that for non-local access, as Endymion is also a B road.) Wasn't there a prediction of an extra 3-400 cars per hour exiting Endymion onto Green Lanes - are we seeing that? Maybe some are but just carrying on down Stroud Green to Seven Sisters Road - which would make sense if as you say 75% of traffic starts and stops outside the borough?
  • Green Lanes itself also surprisingly quiet when I've been there - lunchtime and early evening. I think someone said Wightman gets as much as 75% of the traffic levels as Green Lanes - but I don't think Green Lanes is seeing a 75% increase in traffic?
  • Green Lanes seems to have been busier southbound than northbound when I've been there. I'm just puzzled by that - I'd assumed Green Lanes would be busier heading towards central London in the morning, but busier heading away from Central London in the afternoon and evening? Do people drive into Central London one way but back on a completely different route?
  • I think a lot of schools are able to send text alerts to parents, it would be useful if the two primary schools on the ladder and maybe others can do this if they haven't already, to alert parents who might be driving to dropoff when school returns. Are there any governors here who can suggest this to their respective Heads?


In a post on another thread you quoted some figures which helped justify why Wightman Road needed to be closed to prevent significant amount of traffic diverting to ladder roads. In these figures is there an element of double counting in the analysis?  Essentially all vehicles that use a ladder road would have to join Wightman Road, either on entry or exit (as ladder roads are one way). Therefore is it possible to draw the conclusion that by simply shutting the top of Wightman road it would add 120,000 cars to the ladder? I would expect the only way of calculating this would have been to monitor how many cars use Wightman as a through road i.e. from Finsbury Park to Turnpike Lane.  Was this done? Alternatively you can total the traffic on the ladder roads and deduct it from the volume that uses Wightman road to get an estimate figure for the additional traffic that would be added to the ladder.

Apologies for the challenge but the assumption that traffic will find alternative routes in our area which has a significant limiting factor of the train line is worrying.




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