With local elections in London round the corner, ward-level local political parties across the borough are choosing their who will represent them. Whilst it's not uncommon for sitting councillors to be endorsed to run again without challenge, there are also times when challengers are put forward.
Both the Harringay and St Ann's ward councillors will face a challenge this time. Mike Hakata, is a St Ann's councillor with cabinet responsibility for traffic across the borough. Haringey Council has a poor record on traffic management and it is way behind neighbouring boroughs in introducing new approaches to reduce rat-running and encourage active travel.
The Ladder, in particular, has been a victim of poor traffic management decisions going back over half a century. Mike Hakata is now apparently promising to tackle the issue head-on. After getting approval for a St Ann's low traffic neighbourhood, he has now turned his attention to the Ladder. Whilst I still have some concerns and questions about the approach that will be taken, Mike Hakata seems to be the best chance we have. it would be a crying shame to see him de-seated by his local party.
The vote in St Ann's is next week (Monday, I think). So if you are a Labour party member (which I am not) in St Ann's ward, please please do think about making sure that you vote and give full consideration to Mike's importance for the future wellbeing of the Ladder.
The record on LTNs in Haringey is not as straightforward as the discussion here might lead people to believe. After the change of administration in Haringey Council (May 2021), Mike Hakata took over from Matt White who had already done most of the necessary groundwork: three LTNs were ready to go. They should have been implemented by September 2021 at the latest.
However, consultation on the final designs happened later than planned, closing 17th September 2021, nearly four months after the change in the Labour administration. The Cabinet decision to implement then didn't happen until December 2021, with the St Ann's and Bruce Grove LTNs timetabled for Spring/Summer 2022.
Nevertheless, the Cabinet papers for the St Ann's and Bruce Grove LTNs state that those LTNs will not be implemented until the Bounds Green LTN is in place (early 2022) and there’s been time for "the highway network to adapt". It's clear that nothing’s going to happen until after the May local elections. The Bounds Green LTN will have to wait until May at the earliest, and there needs to be time to review those changes before implementing the other LTNs. As for Harringay ward it remains a moot point when things will start moving.
In short, we will have to wait quite a bit to see what happens. On this, as with much else, this Council administration appears better at PR than delivery. The proof of the pudding is in the eating and the food has yet to appear on the plate.
I’ve expressed many doubts about the principle of the St Ann’s LTN on other threads (so won’t repeat them all here) and also corresponded with Mike Hakata on the subject. He said that implementation in St Ann’s also depends on measures being in place first to deal with Green Lanes — in my view, far and away the more pressing issue — but no Council plans have yet surfaced, so that suggests further possible delay. It’s all very well stopping through traffic across huge swaths of the borough, but I’d suggest you first have to consider where it’s trying to get “through” to — and the answer revolves entirely around Green Lanes.
I am in agreement with you Don over the principle of St Ann's LTN.
It's interesting that Mike told you the St Ann's LTN won't be implemented until after Green Lanes is tackled. From my understanding the St Ann's LTN funding is time limited, I believe the deadline for spend is September. I think that a Ladder LTN consultation is next, then a separate Green Lanes consultation after that. Is there time to complete both of those before September? I have no idea, and maybe spend deadlines can be extended.
Wouldn’t you agree Green Lanes would benefit from car drivers not blocking bus lanes; driving into traffic to park for a Kebab; not three point turning after Gozleme pick ups…etc… ?? Traders obviously have the power to reduce already narrow pavements when COVID allows by being given outside seats.
It needs to be dealt with, but this is not in the gift of the Council. It's TfL.
The TfL that has no money and is withdrawing funding for LTNs etc.
Whatever is implemented now will have little chance of mitigation if the LTN 'trials' create seen or unforeseen externalities.
In the last HLHS zoom meeting Hakata said that Green Lanes has now been brought within the scope of the "Ladder Project" (a disturbingly Putinesque name!). The timescale for making a start of this project is this summer. He also said that current thinking is to make Green Lanes an Oxford Street style traffic zone, i.e. public transport only. That worried me because my fear is that Wightman will be sacrificed to accommodate the traffic overflow. I asked and didn't really get an answer, but I can't believe that they really try that... would they! Would they?
Wow! That is very bold thinking. I think it's a good idea that a solution for the Ladder includes GL but that doesn't seem practical or even possible to me.
Once the St Ann's LTN is implemented I can only access my house via St Ann's Road (in a car or for deliveries) so depending on how much of GLs is turned into an Oxford Street style I will be very stuck.
Yes, there seem to be some significant issues, the solutions to which have not yet been shared. I’m assuming that the potential problems are so obvious that they will have been considered. Fingers crossed!
I have another meeting on Tuesday evening with the council to talk about developing a LTN exemption policy for disabled people and carers, I will ask about this latest Ladder Project thinking. At the first meeting a couple of months ago it was quite clear that many of our issues had not been thought about, or even known about.
Oh dear.... This is what I tried to raise on other HoL threads and in correspondence with councillors. Making our stretch of GL public transport (and genuine deliveries) only is absolutely fine in principle and I hugely support bus-priority measures, but inevitably it brings up the question of displaced traffic. If all the through routes on the east side from Hermitage to Wood Green are closed by LTNs as well, then of course everything will divert to Wightman instead.
The problem is — and has always been — that nobody wants more traffic in their own streets (I flagged exactly the danger to Wightman and the Ladder on another thread but got some pretty dusty comments) but the geography of GL and its position as a major north/south route means the traffic has to go somewhere, unless the source (eg the N Circular junction) is tackled. I’ve never believed that vehicles will just “disappear” when so many side roads are blocked and I think Hugh’s absolutely right to flag this as a potential major problem.
I really can't follow the logic of that. Though here he is suggesting pedestrianisation (after a meeting with Shef's traders).
Just to be clear, by the end of the meeting we were all agreed that if we could pedestrianise Green Lanes in the next few years that would probably be to everyone's benefit.— Mike Hakata (@mikehakata) February 18, 2022
I checked Mike's meaning of "pedestrianisation". In fact, he doesn't mean true pedestrianisation; he means Oxford Street style traffic control (his words), i.e. public transport-only.