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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Last night, in his role as Member for Climate Action, Environment and Transport, and Deputy Leader of the Council, Mike Hakata addressed a group of Harringay Ladder residents through the agency of the Harringay Ladder Healthy Streets group (HLHS). 

After giving a very positive review of progress to date elsewhere in the borough, Mike turned to the 'planned' projects for Green Lanes and the Ladder. He seemed quite clear on the Green Lanes part of the project and explained that this would be the fist part to happen. He said that he'd been able to get much better trader support after explaining that part of the changes would see the pavements widened to support more of a cafe culture. 

Turning to the Ladder, things seemed much less positive. The modelling confirmed what the modelling which had been done during the bridge closure did (and subsequent experience showed) - closing Wightman Road would have "much wider impacts". The finding has sent Mike and his sub-contracted consultants back to the drawing board, apparently to find a new solution.

This gave me and others cause for concern last night. Previously, the talk had always been about considering Green Lanes, the Ladder and Turnpike Lane as one piece. Now that the fast-crystallising plan for Green Lanes will be implemented first, with nothing concrete on the board for the Ladder, the first concern is what will be the impact of those changes happening first on the Ladder. I asked Mike about this in the meeting and others followed up in the same vein. Mike gave answers designed to reassure, ultimately saying, "it is happening".

I also asked two questions about timing - was there any overall sense of timing and what would the time-gap be between the completion of Green Lanes and the start of work on the Ladder. Mike's response was:

" I've got to be honest. I am nervous about coming out and saying, 'Right. This is going to happen in this time frame'......what I prefer to say is that it is under way.......What I want to see is for it to happen as quickly as possible and the phasing to happen as quickly as possible"

I have to say that, given my experience over the past twenty years, I ended the evening feeling much more uncertain about whether anything much will ever happen to manage traffic on the Ladder. I'd begun the meeting with a little scepticism, but a general sense that Mike was going to see this through. He's believable and trustworthy, BUT, but (and ain't there always a 'but'); he began his piece with mention of how reality had hit home since he'd first started in his current role and how things were much tougher than he’d imagined.

Now I'm in a position of wondering whether that heavy dose of reality is going to kill off the Ladder project, or turn it into something toothless, something quite other than what we'd been led to believe was possible.

If "wider impacts" don't do for it, my fear is that the 'Ladder project' is now being somewhat gently toed into the long grass for the time being and while Mike may be, all things being equal, committed to it, timescales have already stretched. Will he be in post long enough to see it through even if he wants to be? Back in 2015, I had faith in one of Mike's predecessors, Stuart McNamara (he of the bridge closure days), but the post and the local party seemed to do for him and with him went HIS good intentions. Even if Mike would rather stay and see things through, he has already been the target of one wing of the local party who  tried to unseat him.

So, I'm cautious about expecting progress on this, but I'm a natural optimist. I'm not a betting man, so I won't give odds, but I do expect to see a lot of wood rubbed shiny from the touching in my trail.

The HLHS group have posted a video of last night's meeting on YouTube (about one hour). 

Tags for Forum Posts: mike hakata, traffic

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https://www.airqualityengland.co.uk/local-authority/graphing?la_id=196

This is what I used. You can make a graph. I only used no2 because when I downloaded previous reports from Haringey, particulates weren't an issue. I think it's more to do with idling traffic causing pollution.

There's a full council meeting on Monday 20th November at 7.30. I'm presuming Mike will be in attendance.

Living wedged in-between 2 LTNs in N15 I have to say: The council are jumping the gun before they are actually considering all effects the LTNs are having on the immediate community. One example: the LTNs were introduced in 2022. Yet, no measures to protect pupils on the boundary roads of the LTNs were implemented (I'm talking about the various schools alongside WGR that are not eligible for school streets). I investigated and was told that the time frame to introduce such measures, ie consider green screens is 3 (yes, three!) years.

Maybe the only way is to turn up to the full council meetings. I'm beginning to wonder if they see people who follow polite protocols for communication are too weak-willed to do anything more? I've seen one or two clips of councillors responding to questions. Dismissive is an understatement. It's not right.

Maybe the ladder traffic issue keeps getting sidelined because, like on the MAJORITY of ltn roads,  THE TRAFFIC ISNT ACTUALLY THAT BAD. 

No, that's not the case at all, Ben. Since you seem to live locally and ought to know the roads well, I can only assume that your post is designed to provoke reactions. But since some people might take it seriously, I will grace you with a serious answer.

Your capitalised (always a clue) statement couldn't be further from the truth. In fact Mike Hakata pointed to the Ladder as particularly badly affected by traffic.Some roads, such as Wightman and Warham are very badly affected. The very reason for the delay is because the Ladder is heavily used by traffic. Mike's shared fear about "wider impacts" of managing traffic on the Ladder relates to the concern about where all the traffic would go that's currently using it. If there wasn't much traffic there would be no issue ergo no delay. Mike knows the situation because he's seen all the data.

Ladder residents have not asked for an LTN. They have been asking for twenty or thirty years for measures to control traffic levels. That's all.

Would you like to share which road you live on?

LTN%20Protest%20Nov.%202023.jpeg


There will be a protest against  Haringey's LTN policy at the next full council meeting on 20th Nov. at 6.30. (Venue yet to be decided but it is thought it will be George Meehan House in Wood Green.) The meeting itself starts at 7.30. Local residents have the right to attend the meeting itself - though on previous occasions Haringey Council has limited this right in breach of current legislation.

If you wish to attend then please notify your local councillor - and raise the issue of LTNs with them.

I attended the Council AGM in May - having gone through the above procedure. Others wished to attend but were not permitted by a large security contingent. (How much did they cost?)  I would say half the seats allocated to the public remained empty. (Some much for democracy in Haringey.) 

So, my advice, get your formal applications in now.

Even more convinced that LTNs were always about money.  Local estate told me yesterday. Haringey are not going to stop they're making too much money. I don't have any verifiable figures numbers but I wouldn't be surprised if they'd raked in over 8 million so far. 

Since you say that the figure is not verified and that your only source is a local estate agent, can I ask you  arrived at your figure of £8M? 

Actually it was his figure not mine and I should have checked before venting. Freedom of information from Haringey is £3million so far. Humble apologies! 😔

You may know that I'm concerned about the safety and fairness of the School Streets plan. I'm not against School Streets measures entirely, I just want them to be safe, fair and lawful. In a residents meeting Mr Baker, the officer for the council claimed there had been "8 accidents on “Ladder Roads”, in the last 5 years involving children. 7 slight injuries and 1 serious." That stat didn't apply to the proposed School Streets roads, though, but ladder roads in general. I asked for the data for accidents on Mattison & Pemberton roads for the last 20 years.

After numerous requests, Mr Baker went back to 1998 to discover 7 collisions of under 15s - albeit two of the collisions didn't relate to Pemberton or Mattison Roads, but related to the roads on the other side of Green Lanes, and another was on Green Lanes alone, no related to P or M roads. Have a look at the data attached and see that the injuries happened at the junctions. I fear that the confusion caused to drivers by a scheme with variable restrictions and minimal signage will result in attempts to take evasive actions to avoid £120 fines. Evasive actions are often more dangerous manouevres, and confused drivers make mistakes, which can also be dangerous.

Considering Pemberton and Mattison Roads are relatively narrow, one way roads and have busy Wightman Road and Green Lanes at either end, I'm concerned the result will be very dangerous junctions, and particularly dangerous at a time when the junctions are busy with children coming school.

Attachments:

Well done for pushing for answers.  It's a pity you almost have to force their hand.  Amazing that they are making decisions without knowing the full answers themselves. Looked at the data and it is at junctions and sometimes things happen because people dart in front of cars and buses but misjudge timings.

Also while I'm in here, just an update as well for the full council meeting on Monday 20th November. The proposed venue is at Tottenham town hall at 7.30pm. There's a group meeting outside at 6.30 with signs to represent local opinion because it may happen, as before that they are not allowed in even though as said previously it is in breach of current legislation.

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