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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

The plan to make Green lanes the main arterial road to the north (in 1943)

I was in the Museum of London Docklands on Sunday (highly recommended) & I spotted a map of the 1943 "Country of London Plan" that was drawn up to plan a post-war London:

If you look more closely you can see that the main north bound arterial road is in fact....Green Lanes:

- the Stoke Newington reservoirs are very clear, as is Finsbury Park

The County of London plan was drawn up by Sir Leslie Patrick Abercrombie and John Henry Foresaw, but seems to be much less well known than the 1944 Greater London Plan, also produced by Abercrombie.

There's a film about the County of London plan on the Guardian web site & a photo showing its presentation in this article - you can see the Green Lanes arterial route on this photo too.

Tags for Forum Posts: green lanes, harringay traffic study, traffic, wightman road, wightman road alignment

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That's right Hugh.

The remodelling had always been part of the Haringey Central Area Scheme from the 1960s to the 1980s.

Taken from this 1981 booklet - which also includes Shopping City Planning:

If the Eastern High Road By-pass had been constructed as planned .. traffic along Wightman would have been considerably reduced as more traffic would have used Green Lanes. The High Road would have reserved for pedestrians and buses - A North London version of Oxford Street, which with hindsight, probably wouldn't have been a good idea.

Fascinating. Thank you. So there seem to have been two bypasses planned, neither of which was built. That failure, it seems, is a significant contributor to where we are today.

The A105 diversion or Eastern By-Pass was intended to to be the main North-South route. The Western routeing was only ever intended as a secondary route. The Wood Green one-way gyratory system would have ensured that most traffic would have taken the Eastern routeing.

A close up of the Turnpike Lane Station area after the new road had been opened.

The vision for the Wood Green pedestrian area by the end of the 1980s.
Do we know why it didn't happen. Money?

I'm not sure when the decision was made to scrap the plan.

Wood Green was named as one of the London regional centres in a 1960's Plan, along with Sutton, Croydon, Bromley, Romford, Harrow, Ealing, Kingston. Some of these did actually complete their plans and built ring roads around their centres.. i.e. Romford, Sutton

Wood green's scheme was planned to be completed by 1985, with slippage, I guess 1990.

It must be remembered that these were the early years of Thatcher's governments with their opposition to local government powers and spending. Haringey as an opposition led council, wasn't that popular with those governments, so I imagine funding dried up at some point.

This plan looks like it would have dumped a lot of traffic into Green lanes at the West Green Road junction - what was planned further south to deal with this?

Presumably the Arena site was a more opportunistic shopping centre development, unlike Wood Green (which perhaps explains why it is such a mess from a traffic point of view?)

Michael, nobody ever dreamed in the 60s or 70s that the Arena & Stadium site would ever be used for Retail or Housing. It seems to have been planted speculatively and with no thought whatsoever to the amount of traffic it would generate. It was, no doubt, welcomed at the time by the council, at a time, when developers mostly avoided Haringey like the plague.

And on your other point, No, there were no plans for changes in the road system North or South of Harringay / Wood Green. It was assumed that the new road would relieve the shopping area of through traffic.. and that was about it. As a comparison, the ring road around the Romford Shopping Area also didn't take into account the wider issue of traffic congestion created by the scheme.

The plans for the demolition of the Civic Centre, surely means that the vision of a central retail and civic heart for the Borough, the so-called  'Haringey Central Area' is surely dead.

A roads are shown in red with numbers, B roads in green.

I personally find that the plans for railways are much more radical and therefore interesting, than those for roads.

Great find, this should be used as part of the historic context for Wightman Rd and the Ladder, illustrating how residential areas have been carved up, and how effective these strategies have been. These arterial roads form physical barriers between communities. The pollution from congestion or car reliance, degrades the idea of these roads as conduits. How many cars are these roads intended to carry, before they are no longer productive? This is why builders down tools at 4PM to get home, avoiding congestion.

The 1943 & 1944 still come up for sale from time to time. There is also a (rarer) Penguin version, which I'm also lucky to have.

Stephen you should have been a town planner. Btw, re another discussion, did you get to see Merkel & Obama?

I did.

Right from being a kid I wanted to be a (public) transport planner. Was making plans and drawing maps for better transport links in Tottenham and Harringay by the age of 10. Sadly, homophobia at London Transport in the late 1970s, meant no chance of getting further up the ladder, so putting an end to all those ideas.



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