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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Haringey traffic boss outlines new project to deal with Ladder traffic

On Monday evening, cabinet member for environment, transport and the climate emergency and deputy leader of the council, Mike Hakata, joined almost 100 Ladder residents on a Zoom meeting organised by community group Harringay Ladder Healthy Streets (HLHS).

In the context of the introduction of a number of low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) in the borough, the meeting was set up to answer residents' questions about what solution will be brought to the Ladder to finally deal with the huge volumes of traffic passing through the neighbourhood.

Whilst Mike gave few clues about what shape any solution might take, he did appear to show a real understanding of the need to deal with Ladder traffic and he skteched out some outlines about how the project would run.

"There must be a solution for the Ladder", he said. "This has been one of the most critical zones of traffic issues in the borough for two or more decades".

Mike then outlined a series of three parallel projects to deal with traffic issues in the central part of the south of the borough. The first, already in play, is dealing with the Woodlands Park area (referred to as the St Ann's LTN). The second will deal with the Ladder. The third will focus on just Green Lanes. Mike said that the Ladder project will include the rung roads, Endymion Road, Wightman Road and Turnpike Lane.

The timetable will build on the initial consultation that took place in February through the Commonplace map approach

Mike told the meeting that the council is currently finalising the contract with consultants NRP to run the consultation and support the design process.

By January/February 2022,  Mike said that he expects to be consulting again with community groups, including the Harringay Ladder Healthy Streets group.

Initial designs, he promised, should be published after the local elections in May and he said that we could reasonably expect work to start next summer.

Let's all get involved and meanwhile keep our fingers crossed and hope that this time the council is prepared to show sufficient boldness to finally deal with the Ladder's traffic.

Watch a recording here.

Sign up to HLHS newsletter here.

Get involved with the group or contact them at ladderhealthystreets@gmail.com.

Tags for Forum Posts: hlhs, ladder ltn, low traffic neighbourhoods, traffic

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Hugh, I’m afraid I don’t agree about the Council’s approach to through traffic, at least as far as St Ann’s is concerned. In that consultation, Haringey offered no concrete figures to underpin their assertions about rat-running or through traffic, while publicly available stats actually undermine their contention about the number of accidents in the ward, by showing that far and away the most dangerous road in the area is Green Lanes. Cllr Hakata may have better information about the Ladder, but my experience on this side of the divide is unconvincing and it doesn’t mean GL isn’t the biggest problem, in my view.

I’d still suggest there are two elements in play: first, the “through traffic” is self-evidently trying to get somewhere; when Green Lanes is seriously congested or jammed (as it usually is, especially in rush hours), of course vehicles head for the Ladder/Wightman instead; secondly, if the Council is serious about tackling the problems, why isn’t it leading the way by doing something itself rather than just trying to restrict traffic and residents? I’m not arguing that unrestricted petrol-heads should rule the roost, but at the moment Haringey’s all stick and no carrot. If Council vehicles and last-mile deliveries were all electric, if buses had 24-hour lanes in GL and there were fewer parking spaces, then a) people would use more public transport, b) pollution would drop and c) through traffic wouldn’t need Ladder roads to get anywhere — though I’m convinced this also needs tougher controls on the N Circular junction to prevent the traffic arriving in the first place.

It’s very unfortunate that the local geography channels traffic into such a narrow corridor of GL and Wightman. But wouldn’t the Council’s case be much more convincing if they/TfL/DoT provided a viable public transport alternative before clogging GL up even more with frustrated displaced traffic? As Haringey’s own map showed, the Crouch End closure experiment was designed to shift traffic onto Wightman rather than deter it, so why plan to do the same thing with GL by potentially closing Ladder roads? People will only abandon cars when the alternatives are a) safe, b) available, and c) cheaper.

You may well be right about St Ann's. I really don't have sufficient detailed knowledge about traffic in your bit of the neighbourhood. I was answering what I assumed to be a point about through traffic and the Ladder issues. For the Ladder, it's certainly through traffic that's the main problem. 

Surely that through traffic on Wightman Road is, at least partly, caused by the congestion on Green Lanes and Turnpike Lane. I don’t understand the logic of separating them into two separate projects, I’ve always thought of GL as part of the ladder.

Yes, but it’s through traffic that’s the problem. Whether we get it whizzing down Green Lanes or Wightman Road, the problem is that we get too much through traffic. I can’t imagine a situation where you could sufficiently alter Green Lanes so as to have much of an impact on Wightman Road. The solution is to deal with the through traffic.

With regards to the three projects, the logic wasn’t made clear. I wonder if it has something to do with TfL‘s attitude to Green Lanes. Separating the Ladder from Green Lanes may allow Haringey more freedom to act as they see fit.

There's obviously only one gap in Deputy Leader Mike Hakata's understanding of the whole issue. He doesn't know what a LADDER looks like or how essential the two uprights are to the rungs between. Next meeting, could someone borrow a long ladder from one of the Ladder's countless scaffolders and explain its structure to Mike who seems to be an otherwise intelligent lad and quick on the uptake.

Instead of asking for volunteers, perhaps you should do it, if you think it will help.

Give him a ring Eddie, He's open and honest. 

Thanks Alan. I was sort of hoping that Commonplace might adopt my scaffolding ladder as their logo and incorporate it into their next map as an um commonplace concept. No Ladder without GL and WR.

Alan, over the years you've vouched for any number of 'closed' and ultimately 'dishonest' council actors. Not because you were trying to deceive people, but probably because you viewed them through the lens of political party affiliation. This and other threads have seen several people claim that finally we might have the right guy... someone who gets it.

It happens with regularity. A new face in a role, be it Traffic, Environment, Finance, or even ultimate leadership, is smothered with a collective optimism that says maybe, just maybe, this one won't be a wrong'un. For decades now, we and you have been proven wrong. 

You're partly right, Will.  But I'd suggest this particular onion has many more skins.

For one thing I don't only view people "through the lens of political party affiliation".  A search of HoL back pages will show my respect and positive comments for former LibDem councillors including Karen Alexander, David Schmitz, Neil Williams, Juliet Solomon, Robert Gorrie, Wayne Hoban and Gail Engert. Why? Because I was able to see them personally in meetings engaging in the Council's business. Making my judgement based on what they said and - above all - what they did.
I didn't "vouch" in the sense of asking people to vote for them. That would have got me into even more trouble with the Party Whips. But I viewed them on the whole as decent people working for the benefit of residents. (Rather than their own brilliant careers.)

Don't you yourself judge people as you find? And also at least begin by hoping for the best? And isn't Party loyalty positive if it means shared values and beliefs? But not of course to support complicity in stupidity and doubtful deals.

I have though actually vouched for and even helped campaign for some Labour councillors for whom, in the light of experience, I've later apologised. The names Joe Goldberg, Emina Ibrahim, Gideon Bull and Charles Adje may come as no surprise.

Hi all, thanks very much for reporting on all of this. I live on Hornsey Park Road which has its fair share of issues too - were any impacts on that discussed at all? We are largely in the same boat as Wightman but without having had the money spent on traffic calming measures that wightman has already. 

No, I don't recall it having been specifically mentioned. I'm aware that your issues are very much linked to ours, I imagine that dealing with Wightman Road would have a significant positive impact on Hornsey Park. But there would still be the issue of traffic travelling north though Hornsey. So. no doubt you'll need your own project at some point. 

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