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.
I agree, like the Gardens opposite, this new arrangement should be made permanent!
As Hugh pointed out Pete/Georgina there is a separate process to look at the longer term traffic implications for the Ladder area. This has come largely because of pressure from a variety of resident and community groups in the last 12 months. To their credit the council have listened!
I am part of one such group with representation from across Ladder roads under the Ladder Community Safety partnership (LCSP), I am its Chair. We, and other resident groups, will hopefully be part of the stakeholder group that will contribute to the study that is being commissioned and will run for some 6 months.
From our perspective, we would welcome ideas from everyone affected by traffic on the Ladder about what they would like to see from this study, and what a final traffic 'settlement' might look like. One of our group made a very interesting observation yesterday when we met that if you look at a map of the area, to the east of Green Lanes, there are a series of bollards/ gates and barriers that stop traffic moving through those areas. Look to the West of Green Lanes and what you have instead is 'traffic management' via residential roads. So, yes, as a minimum, this will be a core of what we will look to argue for.
Justin Guest, Chair LCSP Traffic Sub-Group
It would be great to see a long term trial of bollards and gates as you mentioned. Hackney has hundreds of the to reduce rat running, and encourage cycling and walking. Residents can still access their houses, so it is a win/win. I met with Cllr McNamara late last year to discuss it. Hopefully this can be pushed forward via your group.
Thanks for the comments Jono. When we get to the point where ideas are on the table we will come back to everyone and ask for input, but as a fellow cyclist I am with you on this. I hate Wightman- it scares the bejeebers out of me!
It would be interesting to talk at some point, are you a Hackney resident or Harringay?
Hi Hugh and Justin,
It was an informal meeting with Haringey Cl and Haringey Cycling Campaign to work on the bridge closure details. I (and others) made the point that now would be a great time to really get as much data as possible during the closure. Am I right in thinking that is happening via traffic data counts?
A survey of residents during the closure to see what ideas folk are open to would be really useful too.
I am (just) in Hackney, in Finsbury Park Rd but think this closure represents an amazing opportunity to experiment and trial something for the whole area.
At least the Gardens residents have their own private access route in and out.
It would be fantastic is this is made permanent.
Great news - from a cyclists point of view - hopefully they will re-surface as well.
I'd be very interested to see what happens to the number of cyclists using Wightman Rd, as they've created a virtually traffic free route all the way to Finsbury Park in an area that's currently terrible to ride through!
Is there any monitoring of cyclists numbers planed for?
Green Lanes is going to become 'carmageddon' - buses will be going nowhere, and from June the Gospel Oak-Barking line will also be closed for several months. Might as well plan to stay at home until it's over.
There are bus lanes.... but I know what you mean.