Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

The Green Lanes Area Transport Study has taken two years, and cost about £200,000, to complete, and was intended to address the longstanding problem of excessive traffic in the area, and consequent issues of safety, pollution and (in the consultant's jargon) "loss of amenity" to residents. The final report was published today without much fanfare.

The above photo from the cover of the report shows motorists, cyclists and buggy-pushing pedestrians apparently co-existing in harmony at the tree-lined junction of Burgoyne Road with Green Lanes, with Stanhope Gardens (one of the side streets on the eastern side of Green Lanes which enjoys protection from rat-running) receding quietly into the distance. I assume the subliminal message here is that everything is already hunky-dory, there is little room for improvement and all we can do is tinker around the edges?

I've attached a copy of the report to this post or you can download it and various other documents from the Council's webpage at http://www.haringey.gov.uk/transport/green-lanes-area-transport-study.

I actually think £200K would be good value if the report recommended measures which would significantly improve the quality of life of local residents - measures to reduce traffic and pollution, measures to make walking more attractive, or make cycling safer so that more people would choose those "active transport modes" and have healthier lives. Unfortunately I can't see many measures that will make much difference. 


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So what you are saying is that this is really a report for the benefit of the traders association, mosques and churches? I am becoming more inclined to agree, also for the reason I say below.

There is definitely something going on behind all this as usually councils comply more or less with what local residents want when it comes to blocking roads, etc.  Haringey did it in the Gardens, but simply will not do so with the Ladder. 

I would have hoped that the Consultants would have recommended what they thought was right. not necessarily what the residents wanted.

It seems like that's what the consultants did --what they thought was right rather than what the residents wanted. I am fairly sure the votes back in May were discussed here after the survey was taken by the council. I would have to revisit those threads.

But for now, I don't seem to see any discussion about survey in any meaningful way in the report though, and to me, this is the fundamental problem.

My girlfriend and I cycle along wightman road to and from work and it is a dangerous road to cycle along. The only alternative is green lanes which is just as bad. The traffic islands on wightman road mean that cars desperately trying to overtake you (who you then pass queuing at the mini roundabout!) have to swerve back in coming within centimetres of hitting you. This is a daily occurrence. Taking a “primary position “ to avoid being overtaken results in cars still trying to get passed you and often verbal abuse. A simple measure to improve safety would be to remove these islands immediately and install zebra crossings.
Well done everyone who pushed for improvements. The majority of individuals will always see today’s situation as the norm and fixed for ever more and cannot envisage a different system or radically different future. That does not mean it cannot occur or that forward thinking individuals should not try. Reducing traffic and pollution across London is a complex problem but it needs to be addressed. The negative externalities of unfettered vehicle usage is too high.

Well, I expected a pretty weak report but this was even weaker than I expected. As many expected the outcome is we'll stick with the status quo.

What particularly amused me was the objectiveTo move to more sustainable modes of transport by making Haringey one of the most cycling and pedestrian friendly boroughs in London followed by nothing at all to do that.

They even suggested introducing more pinch points on St Anns Road, I assume as it works so well on Wightman Road.

For me this image summed it up perfectly, a variety of routes that don't join up to anything and totally ignore the desire lines of most pedestrians and cyclists.

Two of these proposals, cycling across the Haringay Station railway bridge and access through the new St Anne’s site, aren’t even in Haringey's gift. The one that is, making Wightman safer and more cycle and pedestrian friendly, is and is not even being consider.

The message of this map seems to be - don't cycle in Harringay.

The more I think about this, and the impact of living here long term with the increasing levels of poisonous pollution, the more I think we should be marching down Green Lanes ourselves. Wightman Rd and Green Lanes are both as packed as ever. The tail backs at times in the morning from the Endymion round about go way past Harringay station. The only solution is to close Wightman Rd. Of course it will have knock on effects in other places but HAVEN'T ALL THE OTHER F'ING ROAD CLOSURES AROUND US!

This report is indeed a disgrace.

 I went to a briefing meeting about the study today and the proposed outline work programme for the next three years. I am hoping that we will be setting up ward based local groups to become involved in shaping the details of the various schemes so they can be improved, added to, or modified following positive discussions. My impression today was that there is a commitment to working with local people and to still taking up fresh ideas. There are works proposed for 2017/2018 including for Endymion Road and Wightman Road (I don't have all the fine details yet) and these will be discussed at the Steering Group meeting scheduled for November 28. 

Zena Brabazon

Cllr, Harringay Ward

Dear Zena

It is good of you to engage with this. That is to your credit.

But as ward councillor I do think that you have some responsibility to be taking a more robust response to this report - on behalf of the people that you represent who live in the ward.

To be clear  - there is nothing at all in the proposals that aim to reduce the amount of traffic in the area (in an area that is blighted by traffic and polution). The only proposal to do anything about the ludicrous situation about Wightman is to move the parking off the pavement. Given the report commits Wightman to continue to be used as if it is a heavily used trunk road (rather than a narrow, high density residential road which it  obviously is) then logically this can only mean severely restricting parking on Wightman Road in order to maintain traffic flow? Ladder roads become the car parks for the whole of Wightman Road? That's it? Is that what we would be discussing . . choosing some plants (I have no idea where they would go . . ). 

I am missing something here? 

Hi David

Thanks for your reply and will continue to not just to be engaged since this is such a crucial issue for local people but to argue for measures which do control the traffic on Wightman Road. I support all measures to control the flow of lorries and heavy vehicles and also any measures which slow traffic down. I have made the point to the officers that I think a roe detailed engagement with local people and groups  - who have good ideas and who are frustrated by a process which promised so much at the start - could yield some further changes and improvements to these plans.  So I will keep on working with local residents on this and am happy to meet with any group to work to improve and strengthen the proposals.

Best wishes

Zena Brabazon

Cllr, Harringay Ward

Hi Zena

Thank you very much for responding. It is to your huge credit. 

I still think that you may need to think about how angry many people feel. Some of us viewed the whole consultation exercise with some suspicion - it looked rather like it was being set up to provide obstacles to actually do anything about the volume of traffic in Harringay. Why else would you consult on a equal basis with those who do not live in the area - but clearly want to be able to drive to/though the area? Clearly lots of people were going to object.  

The highly tendentious final report unfortunately confirms the cynicism. As Michael has pointed out there are facts in that report that clearly indicate that the volume of traffic in the area is a major problem - and nearly half of all the traffic is simply passing through. 

Levels of pollution are too high (as the report records) - most created by vehicle diesel engines

There were 538 road causalities in the study period - and of course "pedestrians and pedal cyclists are more likely to be seriously injured than other road users".

Indeed there are facts in the report that indicate that closure of the bridge actually did ameliorate some of those problems (it reduced the volume of traffic and lowered levels of pollution) - all without the significant work that could be imagined to ameliorate the negative impacts. The report on the closure::

"There tended to be large decreases in north-south movements (along Wightman Road and Green Lanes), and in the east-west movement along Turnpike Lane. Demand for diagonal movements, that would involve making east-west crossings across the Ladder area, all declined, sometimes significantly.(p8)


" . . . it appears that there may have been a decline in NO2 concentrations at sites near the closure, and some of these declines appear to be over and above the reduction in ambient concentrations across the borough."

The only serious recommendation concerning Wightman Rd is to move parking from the pavement. Clearly this is a good thing - but considering that Wightman Road is far too narrow to have cars parked and to cope with 2 lanes of traffic and there is no plan to reduce the volume or nature of traffic on Wightman Road  -  that can only mean one thing. There will be a severe restriction on parking on Wightman Road - and residents of Wightman Rd will have to park their cars on rung roads.

I would be really grateful for comment on the latter point.

thanks for engaging 


Agree with this completely. My initial cynicism has been completely warranted.



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