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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

I was just wondering this week how the other ladder roads are being affecting by the current Wightman closure.  Are any road benefiting more than others or suffering more traffic.  It would be really interesting to know as I have always thought that Wightman Road is the key to finding a solution the traffic issue on the ladder.

The traffic situation seems much calmer on Endymion both in the morning and evening and I walked down Green Lanes this morning about 7.30am and it didn't seem any more congested than normal (before the closure of WR). I appreciate that there are still issues with the traffic on Hornsey High Street coming down to Turnpike Lane.

Tags for Forum Posts: traffic, wightman bridge, wightman bridge closure

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'the closure of Wightman being made less restrictive', - exactly - why on earth they had to close the whole road - just one third by the bridge would have been fine.

I can't work out how that would have made things any better. As there is no way traffic can exit onto Endymion Road because of the bridge being out of commission, it would have to go onto Green Lanes at some point. So you would still have congestion on Green Lanes plus vehicles backing up on Ladder Roads, probably back to Wightman.
I've also read posts from people about how long buses are taking to go along Green Lanes. I saw an old thread recently where someone was remarking how it had taken them 40 minutes on the 141 from Clissold Park to The Salisbury. They posted that remark last year. If you go back through posts on here you'll find ones, some from several years ago, where people are talking about abandoning their cars in the Sainsburys car park because they simply couldn't get out.. I think there is a bit of forgetting how dreadful the congestion has been on Green Lanes for years

Funnily enough, today at about 1 pm I had to go from Turnpike Lane tube station to Muswell Hill and back ( by car ).

TPL - Muswell  took 13 minutes

Muswell - Chestnut Park took 23 minutes.

The longer MH to Chestnuts was caused by the awkward junction at Turnpike Lane  / Green lanes.

I don't think that's too bad.

Admittedly, this was not during rush hour, but then, I would never do that trip in rush hour even in normal times.

If I have to go to Sainsbury's Arena, I go at 9 pm with no hold ups except in the aisles where they are re-stocking.

I would still like to hear Sapphire's answer to my question - how would YOU have managed the replacement of the bridge ?

My bus took a record 24 minutes to get from Manor House to the Arena tonight. It took 4 changes of lights just to cross the Endymion Rd junction. Hope my broken toe fixes fast because this is torturous.
Four active (in selection meetings) Labour Party Members lived on Warwick Gardens and a St Ann's councillor worried about deselection had it gated.

I'm not sure how much it helps at this point to be jabbing with sharp elbows at your neighbours, Souveraine. Since you've done so (yet again), and have done so somewhat inaccurately, I'm going to correct your mischaracterisation and then I will say no more and I suggest we move on and look to the future.

Seymour does have a markedly lower level of traffic at just over 3,000 cars a week. I'm not sure of the history to that situation, but if the residents were involved in achieving it, I suspect that their motivations were similar to those of all the other Harringay residents' groups facing the same challenge. However, since there's an absence of hard facts, I'll move swiftly on.

As to the situation with Hewitt, from 2002 to 2014 the road's traffic levels were exceeded only by those in Warham, on the Ladder. During that period they were somewhat higher than the 2016 count for Beresford. As of that count, Hewitt levels were more than double the level in Seymour and similar to those in Allison, Duckett, Mattison, Cavendish and Lausanne. (Coincidentally, in 2016 at their "very little traffic" level they were almost exactly the same as those on Beresford between 2002 and 2014).

For most of the 12 years to 2014, Hewitt residents said nothing about the traffic in their road. In 2013 they did get into conversation with the Council about changes the Council had in mind as part of the Green Lanes regeneration project. If you look carefully at what Hewitt residents asked for at the time, there was a very clear and carefully phrased request for a more equitable distribution of traffic across the Ladder and nothing more. This is the precise demand now being made by the LCSP traffic group.

The introduction of the no-right turn was by the design of and decided by the Council. They explained that it was for the better functioning of the Hewitt/Salisbury Junction. In my discussions with the Council at the recent traffic meetings one council officer told me that the improved traffic control offered by the no-right turn had markedly improved traffic along Green Lanes by removing the frequent blocks caused by right turning cars at this critical junction. They feel their aims in making the change in this respect have been delivered.

The interaction between traffic in Beresford and Hewitt is very much part of your story too, Souveraine. Back in 2002, following other local traffic changes, very high levels of traffic started using Hewitt Road and the residents made a request for a remedy. A trial to resolve the situation displaced traffic to Beresford Road and a successful campaign by the residents of that road saw an early abandonment of the trial and councillors so bruised that they refused to even consider any further action.The residents of Hewitt then lived with very high flows of traffic for over a decade.

The recent implementation of a no-right turn on Hewitt once again displaced traffic on to Beresford. In their turn, just like Hewitt Residents, the residents of Beresford objected to increased traffic flows. In fact so strongly did they object, that they caused a traffic group to be established as part of the LCSP. The residents' stated aim was exactly the same as that of the Hewitt residents -  a more equitable distribution of traffic across the Ladder. 

I've already had my say on the casual, often antagonistic deployment of the Nimby word, Souveraine. In fact I think it applies neither to the residents of Seymour, Hewitt and Beresford Roads nor to those in the Gardens. Each group experienced a sudden and drastic worsening of the quality of their lives due to traffic management decisions taken by the Council. All asked for a solution. None, as far as I'm aware, acted without consideration for their neighbours, but all chose to ask for something better. 

As a resident of Seymour Rd and I was around at the time of the last big changes (the move to one-ways with speed bump) - it is worth commenting on this with hindsight.

I can say that there was no lobbying to get a special solution for Seymour Rd. At various meetings there were differences of opinion between residents of roads like Seymour and (I think) Frobisher who experienced high volumes of traffic  - we argued that the volume of traffic was a major problem and something needed to be done about that. At that time more radical solutions such a blocking roads off were being kicked around. However, certainly at meetings we were heavily out voiced by most other roads who argued that speed was the problem, not volume.  I felt we really lost the argument - despite the fact the solution that emerged did favour Seymour. It was immediately obvious that the problem had simply been displaced.

We need a radical solution that involves a major reduction in traffic volume travelling through the area.

Pace your comments on bandying around “Nimby”, doesn’t the definition of “rat-run” also depend on whether one’s the driver or not? It’s hard to believe Harringay residents haven’t sometimes cut through, say, Florence or Victoria roads to avoid the lights at the Endymion/Stroud Green junction, maybe used the far end of Hermitage and Templeton roads to get onto Seven Sisters or taken Woodberry Grove to avoid Manor House. These are all “rat-runs” if you live in the streets concerned, but everyone else justifies their use as necessary to make a journey from A to B without sitting in traffic jams. 

The key thing we’ve learnt recently is that Harringay’s road system is inextricably linked across the whole area – and probably at full capacity, since closure of one significant section causes such chaos for other sections. Even while sympathising with Ladder residents whose quality of life has improved, I’m also heartily sick of having to allow an extra hour for any bus journey using Green Lanes or Turnpike Lane. Some Ladder people have criticised Gardens residents for their successful barriers campaign and now individual Ladder roads are implicitly criticising others for previous tweaks to traffic flow – so clearly any ultra-local options just replicate the same problem somewhere else. 

The nub of Harringay’s problem is geographical: the railway creates a wall on the west side, traffic controls stop through traffic on the east, so everything is funnelled down Green Lanes, which can’t cope without the safety-valve of Wightman; and that makes people’s lives unhealthy and unpleasant. But not all journeys (even locally) can be made on foot or by bike and wide geographical separation between people’s homes and workplaces is a fact of London life. 

For the Wightman closure ever to become permanent, as some would like, there has to be a solution for Green Lanes as well; because (short of closing it to through traffic at Turnpike Lane and Manor House) I can’t see how to significantly reduce the volume of north/south traffic through the area enough to give the Ladder peace and quiet while still letting buses, services – and even Ladder residents – move up and down Green Lanes to reach the outside world. 

I wholeheartedly agree. Traffic and other people are part and parcel of living in London.

Green lanes can't cope with the volume of traffic on its own, as is evident. During these works I think the gardens and the other roads to the east should have been reopened to reduce the pressure.

Tris. There were a number of options considered, of which one of them was the one you mentioned. I think the planners realised that when taking the 160k vehicles per week from Greenlanes,  and then trying to even give the impression the road was open to the 120k vehicles a week that were using Wightman there would be mayhem on an even greater scale as all the traffic trying to get around the blockage at the bridge sought to find its way around and through the Ladder run roads to get to Wightman. As it was the leas worse option was to make clear the road was closed, in the hope that there would be no ambiguity and people would then find different routes to their destinations.

I suspect this kind of behaviour (below) as at the front of their analysis. Both images were taken recently on the Ladder. The second, with the car cutting across the northbound traffic, possibly a clincher. If everyone trying to get out into Green Lanes did this, then it would simply grind to a horn honking hell.

For me the message from Hewitt and Seymour is that they have the volumes of traffic ordinary residential roads should have, that is mostly local traffic. These should be the sort of volumes we should aspire to for the whole of the Ladder as they show how much of the shocking traffic volumes we have had to endure is down to these narrow residential streets being treated as a cut through.

I don't know what this means but since the closure the traffic on Seymour has reduced quite a lot.  The residential useage must be very low indeed. 

One really nice thing has been reduction in HGV traffic - we live near a speed bump and have been used to the house shaking several times a day - but no more.



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