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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Haringey traffic boss starts Ladder traffic review following engagement by local group

Following the work of the Harringay Ladder Living Streets group, Cllr Matt White, Cabinet Member for Planning and Corporate Services has arranged a maildrop to all Ladder residents. 

Entitled, Harringay Ladder Traffic and Transport Review, whilst it carefully makes no commitments the letter implies that there may be action to tackle Ladder traffic.

Full letter attached below (or read online on Haringey Council's website).

The council web page links to an engagement map for residents to have their say at harringayladder.commonplace.is

But of course, there is also value in also speaking through a group. Please contact - and join - the Haringey Ladder Living Streets Group (www.hlls.org.uk or by email at harringayladderlivingstreets@gmail.com) with any queries, or ask them on here.

Tags for Forum Posts: hlls, low traffic neighbourhoods, traffic

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On another thread earlier today, Andrew commented about this letter,

Another opportunity to provide feedback on the traffic issues in the area. No real promise that anything will happen and the wording is far more non-committal than the St Ann's and Bruce Grove LTN consultations.

I can't find this thread. Could you possibly link to it? Thanks

It was merged with this one.

East of, west of... minor details.

It is interesting to view this further consultation/review in the context of the criteria the Council has set out for prioritising its implementation of LTNs/Cycling/Walking measures (See 2.4(c) in attached doc). Looking at these, it seems the Ladder and Wightman's best hope is to get the Council to change or reassess its metrics. As it stands, boxes are only really being ticked in the very northern reaches of the review's boundary (pollution, Injuries, density, potential to change trips etc).

I think the risk of these announcements for residents is that complacency sets in and the Council gets to sleepwalk through another local consultation. If there is any sense that the Council is listening and is able to tackle the issues competently, perhaps viewing the most recent Council Cabinet meeting will put paid to any such complacency.

View from 37:20 when a Lib Dem Cllr asks what lessons were earned from the Crouch End experiment. Stay for Cllr Brabazon asking about the impact of the St Ann's LTN on the Ladder. On hearing Cllr White's responses to both questions, it's hard to be impressed. Join the HLLS. Join the Labour Party. Vote early, and vote often.


I'm not sure Cllr Brabazon has a very good grasp of traffic issues. In the cabinet meeting video she seems mainly concerned about the "Low Traffic Neighbourhoods" displacing traffic onto Green Lanes. Isn't that one of the aims of LTNs - to promote "active travel" (walking and cycling) in those neighbourhoods by forcing rat-running vehicles to use the intended A-roads?

Once those vehicles are forced to use the A-roads, they can be managed properly (at the moment the main mechanism for managing traffic on Green Lanes is allowing it to use the Ladder rungs and WIghtman as a sort of "relief valve" at the first sign of congestion).

Hi JoeW

I don't think I know you so hello. I have never claimed to be any expert about traffic, but I am doing my utmost, as councillor for Harringay ward, to point out potential problems. I may be wrong, and the traffic may indeed 'evaporate', when the new St. Ann's LTN is completed. If that happens, excellent. I know we must do something about traffic, air pollution, congestion etc. But Harringay ward currently bears the brunt of the traffic and we can see the problems on Wightman, the Ladder  and indeed, Green Lanes. My point has been that any plans for St. Ann's must be developed in parallel with plans for Harringay. That must include a plan for Green Lanes. Not sequentially but simultaneously. One of the  reasons there is now specific consultation for Harringay is because of advocacy and pressure from councillors.  

Zena Brabazon

Cllr, Harringay ward

Well it may just be that Matt got a roasting when he presented his LTN strategy to the local Labour Party so yes, what Will said.

The review invites everyone to add comments to a map of the area concerned.  I went through the all the present comments this afternoon clicking on those I agree with.  I have also added my own comment as follows at a point right in the middle, ie at the top of the hill between Hewitt and Allison:


The suggestion (made in some comments) that motor vehicles should be diverted onto Wightman Road from Green Lanes in order to make space there for cycles lanes on a less hilly route is wholly misconceived.  The simple physical fact is that Wightman Road is not wide enough for both the vehicular needs of ladder residents and even the existing dense flows of through traffic.  Moreover, whereas Green Lanes is a main road with a carriageway strong enough to carry vehicles of upto the legal limit of 40 tonnes, the carriageway of Wightman Road has never been strengthened and consists of the haphazard accumulations of tarmac and filled in diggings over the original thin layer of brick rubble on top of soft London clay.  In this respect, Wightman Road has exactly the same physical characteristics (and dimensions) as all the ladder rungs (except for Burgoyne which is wider) and the surfaces of all these roads rapidly degrade under the present load of vehicles.  This is why dents, depressions, ruts and cracks appear, usually starting where passing wheels hit a hump or where a badly filled hole beneath the surface compacts under the weight.  Wightman Road has it worse than the others, partly because of the tremendous volume of cars but also because of the continued presence of Jewson’s yard – which is the source of most of the very heaviest vehicles that are legally permitted to use this street.  It is high time that this yard was closed down and the site redeveloped for less intrusive purposes.

I am no longer a cyclist myself but I would guess that the increasing popularity of electrically assisted bicycles will reduce the problem of hills and I very much approve of the idea of turning Wightman Road (and all of the ladder rung roads) over to cycling, allowing in motor vehicles only where they are going to or from a local address. There are various ways in which this could be achieved and where modern technology could be used to help and, in my view, the choice of system is the main task facing those responsible for implementing the changes now being worked up.

As an aside, if all non-local traffic were excluded from the ladder rungs they could probably be returned to two-way use with occasional turning spaces for three point turns.  This would eliminate many of the present unnecessary vehicle movements that occur simply because (for example) a non-local driver wishes to park just off Green Lanes.  Doing this generates two ladder traverses plus a movement along Wightman Road  (that’s 900 metres in all) even if he parks only 10 metres off the main road.


If this floats your boat, please click on it.

This seems like a positive step encouraging those of us who have direct experience of the roads to comment, rather than leaving it to researchers who can only have at best a snapshot view of how the roads are used. I have added my comments.

Unfortunately the process of reviewing and agreeing with other people's comments is fairly clunky. You have to go in and click on individual comments on a map rather than seeing a list that you can skim down. This is particularly frustrating as, having 'liked' relevant comments now I will have to go back in before the closing date of the 21st of March to endorse comments added between now and then, which will be fairly time consuming as there is no way to filter out the comments that I have already 'liked'. I fear this will put people off engaging fully with the process.

A plea to the councillors - who I know read this site - don't make this a paper exercise where you've done the required consultation but don't actually take concerns of the residents on board. This was very much how the last consultation on the changes to Wightman Road seemed to go. I spoke to several people during the process and any suggestions were batted away and plans went ahead almost unchanged (I think the only major change I noted was the addition on a zebra crossing at the top of Allison Road which was positive but that was one suggestion out of many hundreds).



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