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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Digging through some boxes, looking for something last night, I came across this traffic consultation leaflet from 1997.

The consultation referred to in this leaflet marked the start of a quarter of a century of local government failure with managing traffic on the Ladder. This pre-dates the closure of the Gardens. Possibly it was the point at which Hermitage was closed. I don't remember. Either way, Hermitage was closed in 2000. That pushed most of the east bound traffic through the Gardens.  So, a year later, after a very strong campaign by the Gardens Residents Association, The Gardens were closed. That pushed most the eastbound traffic on to the Ladder. We all know how well that worked.

I love the way the leaflet says with such breezy nonchalance,  "One way roads may prevent peak hour traffic cutting through local roads". It didn't make sense then and events very quickly proved how very wrong they were.

It's particularly interesting for me to see that this seems to have been the first attempt at dealing with the mid-Ladder eastbound rat-run traffic. By making Seymour one-way westbound, this scheme shifted it all from Seymour to Hewitt. Hewitt then suffered the worst traffic levels on the Ladder after Warham, for a decade and a half, before the next scheme displaced it to pastures new - this time splitting it between Pemberton and Beresford. 

I also note that the scheme seems to have introduced the no-right-turn from Salisbury Road that has seen Warham Road suffer such high traffic levels. 

With the latest traffic scheme going into design this year, this leaflet, and the sorry series of events that followed, is a reminder to us all not to assume that the experts know what they're talking about. Harringay's history tells us they don't.

When the new proposals come out for consultation, please be willing to challenge what doesn't make sense.

(By the by, I think the full one-way came in in 2001. I don't remember if it was the final design of the scheme being consulted on in this leaflet, or a revision of it).

Please excuse the poor quality copies. I was lazy and just took some phone snaps. 


Tags for Forum Posts: low traffic neighbourhoods, traffic

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My dream is they put a tram line down Green lanes, from about Palmers Green to Newington Green, just trams, bike lanes and some provision for business deliveries and rubbish collection. Just let me dream, ok?

Strangely, that was an idea half-seriously mooted by former (now deceased) cabinet member for the Environment (i.e. including roads), Harringay councillor and Mattison Road resident Nilgun Canver.

Well maybe it might be revivied one day. 

No longer inconceivable. 

I think Hugh’s intro says it all, really: closing Hermitage forced traffic into the Gardens; closing the Gardens forced traffic onto the Ladder. So what will the currently proposed solid wall of LTNs from Hermitage to Wood Green do? LTN proponents claim traffic magically “evaporates” when roads are closed, but Harringay experience over the last twenty years shows it’s a myth (otherwise, Ladder residents would all have been cock-a-hoop at the amazing reduction in overall traffic volumes when the Gardens were closed). Displaced traffic has to go somewhere, and on current proposals this will be Green Lanes, St Ann’s Road and West Green Road — already three of the most overcrowded and dangerous roads in the borough. 

Reinstating trams — personally, I’d plan to go from Palmer’s Green to Finsbury Park — would be a major step in providing the improved public transport that’s absolutely vital to persuade people to give up their cars, but transport planners always want to close roads first (bollards and planters are cheap) and then ignore any public transport improvements, imagining that, somehow, simultaneously slashing bus routes and increasing rail fares way above inflation every year will encourage greater use, not put people off. 

Of course, Ken Livingstone, as Mayor, had radical proposals for new tram lines from Camden to the Thames and Holborn to Ealing. Apart from the cost, the biggest disincentive was the vociferous campaign mounted against the idea by residents of Ealing, who didn’t like the thought of traffic displaced from Uxbridge Road cluttering up their side streets instead. Hmm…..

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