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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Next Tuesday, 7 December, the Council’s Cabinet meets to discuss/approve three Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs), in Bruce Grove/West Green, Bounds Green and St Ann’s wards. They’re designed to block through routes and traffic across a huge area of the borough, displacing vehicles onto other roads instead. With time-limited money available from the London Mayor’s Office specifically for creation of LTNs, it’s highly likely the plans will go through.

The meeting agenda and officers’ reports on the schemes and local consultations are at https://www.minutes.haringey.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=118&am... 

In St Ann’s LTN, traffic will be forced by closures onto the boundary roads (St Ann’s, Green Lanes, West Green). Assessing these knock-on effects, the officers report that “in reality, there is insufficient spare capacity on the likes of Green Lanes and West Green Road to accommodate the scale of increased traffic” predicted, so “traffic will divert to alternative routes” - but there’s no indication as to where these routes are and whether they’re inside the borough (the Ladder, for instance) or outside it. The report also refers to the existing “negative impact” in Bounds Green of the adjacent LTN already introduced across the boundary in Enfield, which has simply displaced traffic into Haringey.

It’s very disappointing that none of Haringey’s published traffic schemes contains any plans to deal with the central problem of Green Lanes, a comprehensive plan for electric charging points across the borough, or any intention to replace the Council’s (and contractors such as Veolia’s) diesel and petrol vehicles with electric ones. At the same time, thanks to the Treasury, TfL faces a huge financial crisis that may force cuts of up to 20% in services: less frequent, more unreliable, more overcrowded and potentially more dangerous buses and tubes. This comes just as Haringey is aiming to get people out of cars and onto public transport that will in any case be slower as a result of increased traffic on roads outside the LTNs, making it even less attractive as a result. Not exactly joined-up thinking.

So where is all the traffic diverted from the LTNs going to go? If the whole of the east side of Green Lanes from Hermitage Road to Turnpike Lane is closed to through traffic (the Gardens, St Ann’s, West Green), and GL itself is going to be even more gridlocked than at present, it’s hard to see many alternatives other than the Ladder and Wightman Road. Unless the Council gets to grips with the over-riding problem of Green Lanes (with new bus lanes, parking restrictions and limiting access to/from the N Circular), Harringay will continue to experience congestion and pollution that makes walking, cycling and living in the area progressively less pleasant. But there’s no sign of this at the moment.

Tags for Forum Posts: low traffic neighbourhoods, traffic

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Traffic counts are being carried out prior to the implementation. A lot are currently being done right now. I'm not entirely sure when the additional monitoring (pedestrians, cyclists, air quality, etc) will start. The suggestion seemed to be it would be before the implementation.

You seem to be consistently misrepresenting the council's own projections, I've pasted it here for you again:

If the Option A trial is introduced, we expect some of this motor traffic will divert to the main roads surrounding the LTN (boundary roads) and possibly beyond as they seek alternative routes. This is likely to lead to an increase in motor traffic on the main roads, at least until things settle down.

Experience from other LTN's introduced in London in 2020 has shown that after a few months of 'settling in period', the overall traffic levels reduced. The evidence suggests that some drivers shift to other modes like walking, cycling or using public transport or travel at different times of the day or have stopped/reduced commuting ( e.g. work from home).

One aspect of this problem is that there seems to be a rosy tinted view that if the whole of Haringey becomes a series of villagey LTNs there will be fewer cars on the road because people will walk, or cycle BUT... and I think this is an important but... Over the last 50 years many services that people have to access have been centralised and enlarged, consider Coleridge School, a primary but as big as some secondary schools and our secondary schools have been reduced in number and enlarged thanks to the comprehensive movement; council services used to be accessed locally at Hornsey Town Hall, medical practices got bigger too - all of this requiring LOCAL journeys through the borough which often are not practical using public transport.  A recent example getting a covid vaccination from Lordship Lane or Bounds Green if you live in Stroud Green or Crouch End.  If weseriously want little villages then we need to decentralise ALL of the services so that they can be accessed within a reasonable walking distance...

Very good point. Not everything you need is available locally or within walking distance. 

I already walk to anywhere locally I need to go. I only get in my car when I need to do a non-walkable journey and time and/or practicality don't allow for public transport. 

It's as its ever been: divide and conquer, break up the borough piecemeal by merit of the loudest shouters, take the easy wins and ignore the difficult decisions and the result? Green Lanes and the Ladder roads alone in a huge moat of closed roads and LTNs. These LTNs being passed are *exactly the same* as when the Gardens were closed off 20 years ago according to macro local needs, to the detriment of all the roads around. It's just called something different. The council has never, ever had a joined up, logical plan for its traffic and it clearly isn't going to start now. The amount of traffic going up and down Ladder roads is an absolute scandal which has been continuing quite happily under the full understanding of the council for 30 years.

My understanding is that now they have gained approval for these three LTN trials, the Council will be turning their attention to the Green Lanes/Wightman Road issue. They can't do everything at once but seem to have a plan for the whole borough. I'd suggest reaching out to Councillor Hakata for more on the wider thinking/planning. I also understand that the council are somewhat limited in their ability to influence the ladder given Green Lanes is an A-road and Wightman Rd is a B-road which puts them under the control of TFL/DFT? But I might be wrong on that last point. 

Andrew — In a briefing paper prepared by Councillor Hakata (before this week’s Cabinet meeting), he referred to Islington LTNs. He said “Traffic fell 34% on local roads in the Clerkenwell Green LTN, whilst boundary road traffic rose by 22%. This has remained constant and could be due to the Crossrail works taking place at Farringdon station as well as the implementation of the nearby Amwell LTN”. In short, ‘anecdotal’ evidence — that the majority of roads in St Ann’s are extremely quiet and the incidence of accidents on Green Lanes is hugely greater than across the whole St Ann’s ward combined — has been dismissed as irrelevant, but an increase in boundary road traffic in a different LTN can then be excused (for an anecdotal reason that might or might not apply) because it doesn’t support the plan. Even if there is a mitigating factor in Clerkenwell (rail works), the fact remains that boundary roads there are more congested, and hence more polluted, than before, because the traffic has nowhere else to go and the Amwell LTN has blocked other routes — which is what happens when roads are closed. This is not a success.

Clearly, nobody knows what will actually happen to the Ladder and Wightman when all the roads on the other side of Green Lanes are closed to through traffic. But when TfL is likely to be drastically cutting bus and tube services, it seems completely irresponsible of the Council to be forcing yet more traffic onto roads which even it accepts are already at capacity, whilst crossing its fingers that most of it will somehow magically just disappear.

Agreed, there are boundary roads with decreases, boundary roads with increases and boundary road where the traffic has stayed the same.

So we can either go ahead, trial it and get some solid data on what is actually going to happen or we can continue to refuse every plan because it isn't guaranteed in advance that it's 100% perfect.

Well remember when Haringey first introduced CPZs.  Crouch End (now Crouch End A) was to be three roads only and their excuse was the introduction of a CPZ to the Islington border.  The campaign against CPZs pointed out the end result would be CPZs all the way to the foot of Ally Pally - and guess what they are introducing it now despite local opposition.  LTNs are the same.  Once you have one they displace traffic onto neighbouring roads and so they want one.  Haringey's map make it clear their aim is for the whole of Haringey to be LTNs.  Of course, and this is a guess only, those people who live on main roads that will now take all, and i mean all traffic, tend to be poorer and they are the ones for whom pollution will increase enormously, whilst those in the LTNs will imagine themselves in a peaceful village.  Ever tried to walk on a main road that goes through a peaceful village?

Hi Paul,

Having the whole of Haringey be a set of low traffic neighbourhoods sounds great! The city of Ghent is an example of such a network. Before implementation, 40% of traffic was through-traffic. Within a year of implementation, 25% increase in bicycle users, 8% increase in public transport use, 12% decrease in car traffic during the rush hour, 29% fewer cars on the most important routes within the ring road and 58% on residential streets. https://stad.gent/en/mobility-ghent/circulation-plan

Of course, Ghent is much bigger, so here's new data from Brixton's new-ish low traffic neighbourhoods; https://moderngov.lambeth.gov.uk/documents/s133602/Appendix%20C%20-... and Hackney; https://news.hackney.gov.uk/new-data-shows-traffic-down-in-and-arou...

This paper https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/q87fu/ has shown that London main roads have slightly more better-off households than deprived households. And a Guardian article; https://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2021/mar/02/low-tr...

Here's evidence showing the mix of household income distribution across London; https://www.ons.gov.uk/visualisations/dvc1371/#/E07000223 and if you look at the visualisation, it's easy to see how many deprived households will benefit from low traffic neighbourhoods.

We have had a near-doubling of motor traffic on London's side roads in the last 10 years; 5.4 to 9.3 billion miles a year; https://roadtraffic.dft.gov.uk/regions/6 yet car ownership in Haringey is largely the same, and most households don't own a car.

These households' journeys should get easier, as they can continue to travel across the neighbourhood unhindered, with the bonus of a greatly reduced risk of being run over; https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/23/low-traffic-schemes-h...

So we know that overall motor traffic can go down when some people make different decisions about how to get around, and some locals see the possibilities for active travel. Low traffic neighbourhoods are one way we make that happen.

Ghent is a town surrounded by fields, the major roads bypass it on the way from Antwerp to Bruges and Ostend - it is not even remotely like Haringey.  "Ghent is much bigger" - MORE people live in Haringey than live in Ghent. London main roads have better off households??? Like maybe Kings Road Chelsea? Or Finchley Road - not when they become clogged with immoveable traffic thanks to these looney ideas.  The most income deprived areas in Haringey are along the A10 corridor, I'm sure the income of people who live there is higher!!!  Yes we have had a near doubling of traffic on side roads, could that be linked to 20mph limits, bus lanes and now cycle lanes replacing bus lanes (been down Kensington High Street recently?).  "Household journey's should get easier as the travel across the borough unhindered" - unhindered? What are you going to build bridges over the LTNs???  Travelling north to south in Haringey is easy, there are main roads and they mainly go north to south.  Going East to West is not so simple, getting from Stroud Green to Highgate leaves you very few options and the are already planning to close off another with the restriction to the bridge under the Parkland Walk through Northwood Road.  "People make difficult decisions" - too right they are difficult because the anti-car brigade cannot see just how poor transport across our borough has become and under these proposals will just get worse and worse - what do young people say "smell the coffee"?  Get a map of our borough and just look at the options for east west travel.  North south problems are caused by commuter traffic and all the LTNs in the world won't solve that.  Allow people to switch to cheap public transport further out and you might have a hope of doing that but there are very, very few large car parks near tube stations further out that could make a real difference not this idealogical village crap that some people are trying to peddle (or should that be pedal?  I don't know I can't ride a bike, I have tried and fallen off many times and at my age i think I'm past it.)  By the way I am not anti-bike, far from it, take your bike for repairs and customisation to Big Fun Bikes under Haggerston Station, my son's business - https://www.bigfunbikes.com/...

I thought this was an interesting aside from Cllr Carlin. As chair of the Environment and Community Safety Scrutiny Panel, the Labour councillor for Hornsey was voicing her concern that a Ladder consultation was being planned to run before the St Ann's LTN would have time to 'bed down'. 

I'm not sure anyone really believes that the LTNs are being implemented in a trial basis, but her comment below probably helps illuminate the Council's thinking.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/JXZMYf-1EsI?start=9261&end=9306

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