Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

With all the attention on the benefits and disbenefits of the current closure of Wightman Road , we haven’t yet spent much time thinking about what the future of Wightman Road might be. With both the current closure and traffic study, now is the ideal time for us to start that process.

I should perhaps begin by saying that I write in full knowledge of the problems caused by the current closure, including the significant impact on some businesses and  longer queues at some ‘pinch points’ especially at ‘rush hour’. I’m also very aware that there is more traffic on some roads such as Hornsey High Street, Green Lanes and Turnpike Lane as well as other roads further afield. Alleviating those problems needs to remain uppermost in our minds.

It seems like the most discussed longer-term solution to Wightman Road’s woes locally is permanent closure. Could limiting access, in the current way be the best solution to the danger, pollution and noise caused by the traffic in the block of residential roads made up of Wightman and the ladder roads?

I was one of those who previously thought this was impractical. But now I’m beginning to question this assumption. I’ve been taken aback by seeing and hearing how significant a difference it’s making to people lives; small children cycling to school, cyclists calling out to each about how lovely it is, Wightman Roaders being able to open their windows for the first time, kids skateboarding, hearing birdsong, walking to the station actually being pleasant.

The dangerous pollution levels along Wightman Rd which breach EU limits presumably have been eliminated, taking significant numbers of people including children out of real danger. As others have said this option could also create a pleasant and safe cycling, jogging and walking route, not just for residents of the immediate area, but for a wider group of people across Haringey and beyond.

The other reason for my change of heart is that as time goes on, the level of negative impact gives cause for hope that it may be possible to find good mitigating solutions for the traffic and pollution dispacement. Does anyone have any ideas about what could be done in the surrounding area to help buses flow or/and avoid traffic queues? Can anything be done about the pollution in Turnpike Lane and Green Lanes? What else would we need to think about?

If permanent closure is not the answer, it will be gut-wrenching just to go back to the old status quo and I think the Council will have a fierce fight on its hands if it wants to do that. So what other possible solutions are there that might both allow for an improved quality of life but allow some traffic flow to other Haringey residents? I’ve read elsewhere on HoL about the idea of road-pricing, or limiting access to HGVs. What could we do to drastically reduce cross London traffic rat-running along Wightman and the Ladder roads, yet still permit some access to more  local traffic?

Is permanent closure the only option or is there another way?

Tags for Forum Posts: harringay traffic study, traffic, wightman bridge closure, wightman road

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Fair play but if Wightman was a more attractive option it may be worth the detour. You could come out of the park at the gate half way up Endymion Road, it's a minute up to Wightman and then a good run down to turn off down Pemberton. I agree GL is horrible to cycle on but if things go back to how they were before you end up with two horrible dangerous roads instead of one so giving people an option.

Justin :)

Hi Souvarine
Why should you be surprised I am resentful? This website is meant to be for the whole of Harringay and yet day after day residents of Wightman Road and the ladder line up to say how wonderful the closure of WR is. To say nothing of the huge increased inconvenience to many people across Harringay and the increased pollution and danger for cyclists and others on GL.
I also think you have misunderstood my argument about history.
Several posters have said that the history of WR should be borne in mind and that it was never meant to be a thoroughfare for cars. I have pointed out in response that for fifteen years or more it has been a thoroughfare for cars and a vital one. Just because things were long ago different is no argument for saying they must revert to that state. Otherwise I would be entitled to demand that the borough be returned to fields and trees!

I have already explained what areas Wightman Road usefully leads to and do not see the need to do so again.
Finally I will address your point about ladder residents. How have they been treated unfairly? I am east of Green Lanes and our road is not blocked. We have cars and vans and lorries too. But whenever I have used a ladder road I have been just about the only vehicle on the road. So if anything has been "imposed" on you it amounts - it seems to me - to a car down your road every few minutes. What's so bad about that?

Paulie. Do you know which way your argument is facing? Earlier you said (my emphasis)...

""Wightman road is a residential road that is used as a major rat-run causing huge misery for residents and ill health through noise and air pollution." - No - it is an important route which for a hundred years or more has been used by vehicular traffic!"

Isn't that an argument based on what the conditions were like a long time ago?

Also, a car a minute. If that it were so for some folks. Wightman takes 120,000 vehicles a week. That works out to 12 per minute, every minute of every day. It does not take into account the daily cycle of traffic flows, that there can be little or no traffic flow during the night, or that for many Ladder residents traffic on their roads peaks about the time they and their kids are coming home.

Both are a weak basis for an argument!

No - it is an argument based on what WR has been like for as long as I've known it. People want it to become a leafy backwater on the basis that is what it used to be. My point is that if it was ever like that it hasn't been for a very long time. And that's the point I've been making all week.

As for cars per minute, I have acknowledged that it sounds as if flows on WR have been terrible but I have also pointed out how quiet ladder roads were (it seemed to me) before the closure of WR.

I really can't understand how people don't get there will be objections to closing WR for good. Very odd.

So in the face of statistics you'd rather rely on personal anecdote? You're being ridiculous now Paulie and just grasping around for anything that supports your untenable position. Happy to continue this conversation with you at the pub but unless you're going to get a bit smarter about your arguments (yes I bet you wish you could go back and edit some of your comments), then I'm out of this too.

Now John, who was it that said - 'lies , dammed lies and ........

And who was it who used a pithy comment to dismiss an argument? There have been a small and memorable number of statistics quoted here that I haven't seen anyone demolish or even dent. Find one single statistic on here that you disagree with and go and disprove it. Start with 120,000 vehicles a week. I wonder where they've all gone? Ha ha ha.

Paulie, I'm suffering for you. You are never going to win this argument on This forum. HOL is by its nature laddersentric- always has been, always will be.
Thanks Andy - I can't disagree with that. I think I've made my points and will now drive off into the sunset (along Wightman Road ;-)

Not every Ladder resident thinks that Wightman Rd should be shut permanently. This is not a forum for open debate unless you agreed that Wightman Rd should be shut.

I disagree, there are many interesting ideas on this thread and others that don't involve full closure. Ideas that include traffic filtering, road parking layout, road design that do not just work for the dominance of moterists and through traffic but residents, cyclists, pedestrians. And ideas that recognise that the current level of traffic and consequent pollution are unsustainable going forward. Change is difficult but it needs to happen!



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