Charlotte Gray, Haringey Independent, 26th June 2008
Consultation on a major development in Wood Green closed yesterday, with more than 600 petitions to Haringey Council from local residents.
The Wood Green Town Centre Plan proposes a regeneration and development of the area, including a pedestrian-only zone during shopping hours.
But people living in and around the town centre are concerned these plans would simply divert traffic and increase their problems.
Hugh Flouch organised a 625-strong petition through his community website harringayonline.com protesting about changes to traffic flow along the High Road, which he presented to the Haringey Council on Wednesday.
He believes closing the street to all vehicles except buses would push the traffic along Wightman Road and down the Harringay Ladder - the row of parallel streets running east to west from Green Lanes.
Hugh said: "The plan forsees the possiblility of shutting off Wood Green High Road for all traffic except buses during the day and by implication the Ladder roads would suffer.
"What we're demanding is that the council promises to look at the implications of what they're doing in Wood Green and the surrounding areas.
"A lot of people are very unhappy about the amount of traffic using the roads already. It's atrocious. Traffic is already the residents' top priority."
The Wood Green Town Centre Plan does propose a bus-only high street during shopping hours but also seeks to enhance public transport access and promote cycling and walking.
Hugh's website, created in July last year, has created such a strength of community feeling around traffic issues.
625 people have already signed the petition, which was presented to the council on the closing day of their consultation.
He said: "I wanted people to be able to connect residents so they could have more power to affect the future of Harringay. I wanted to create more of a sense of a joined up community and build together a vision for the future.
"There is a general traffic issue that needs addressing in Harringay."
A council spokesman said: "These plans for Wood Green will have a major impact on the area for many years to come. That is why we have consulted extensively and invited comments from as many people as possible. All comments will now be taken into account as final plans are prepared."