Haringey Council’s draft Walking and Cycling Action Plan is now out for consultation until 10 January 2021. Haringey Cycling Campaign is drafting a detailed response to the plan and below is a brief summary of our key points:
We encourage Haringey Council to reallocate road space, creating quality cycle routes and safe junctions as standard throughout the borough. Our aim is to help create a network where cycling is a safe and enjoyable form of day-to-day travel for all.
Other London boroughs are taking up the challenge to create safe cycle networks and Haringey is currently being left behind, particularly when compared to neighbours Islington and Camden. Both these boroughs have brought forward their safe network targets in the light of changed transport use during the pandemic. Haringey has declared bold aims but we’d like to ensure that these become a reality.
Connectivity, where routes are safe, segregated where possible and continuous, particularly at junctions, is key to making Haringey’s streets open for cyclists of all ages. This will enable children who could cycle to school and also mobility-impaired users. It will also encourage women to cycle more, reducing the gender gap – research shows that 79% of women favour more protected cycle routes.
We urge Haringey to look at a united action plan for different forms of transport so that upgrades include road safety for all as a priority. We’d like to see assessment of projects requiring reallocation of road space and clear target completion dates that the council will work towards.
We encourage all communities to explore a safe cycle network, allowing us to reach our full cycling potential. We look forward to working with Haringey to create a cleaner, greener borough.
A recent government opinion poll showed 75% of people favoured encouraging people to walk or cycle to work instead of driving, with only 4% against.
Haringey Council is giving everyone an opportunity via this link to help shape Haringey’s walking and cycling action plan (WCAP) for the next 10 years.
Please take a moment to fill it in and pass the link on to others who can add their voice. The aim is to secure a long-term vision for a greener borough where walking and safe cycling play a key part. This will be the borough’s chance to engage with an active travel agenda, improving the health and safety of its residents, whilst reducing local pollution.
Your replies will help shape the council’s priorities in an ambitious 10-year action plan. Elements include Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs), new cycle lanes and safer journeys for pedestrians, with public transport prioritised over driving.
Haringey states that its vision is simple: by 2031, they want:
A reputation for being one of the best walking and cycling boroughs, both regionally and nationally.
Walking and cycling as natural choices.
Active travel to have improved the wellbeing of residents.
To reduce motor vehicle use.
These are big ideas and we’d love to see them happen. There’s an election in May 2022 and a strong response now will help prioritise these aims for all councillors.
Firstly, there is a ‘Vision and Policies Questionnaire‘ with 11 brief questions. We encourage you to “agree” or “strongly agree” where asked, adding your own comments in the spaces provided.
There is also a short Delivery Plan Questionnaire, which sets out specific projects and has 7 questions. Again, we encourage you to “agree” or “strongly agree” where asked.
As well as answering the queries, you can leave comments on the interactive map by pinning a site where you feel changes need to be made.
For question 7, you might like to include some of the points we make here or below:
Connectivity is what’s needed or bad experiences will turn people back to their cars.
Road upgrades are only useful if safety is the first priority, otherwise it will just lead to faster speeds and more drivers in cars.
GPS has changed road use so that even smaller residential roads are becoming rat runs as cars try to avoid traffic on main thoroughfares.
Can the 2031 deadline be chunked into smaller deadlines so we can follow progress and witness accountability?
The consultation period ends on 10th January so please circulate this to others so that everyone can share their views. There will be a pop-up in-person session: Saturday 11th December 10am – 2pm at St Ann’s Library N15 5PU.
Meet Finsbury Park – inside Manor House entrance – 10.30am for 11am departure to Downhills Park, where the local café will be pleased to serve you!
The ride will be marshalled and will be safe for families with children. The group will walk/cycle from Finsbury Park along Green Lanes, down Hermitage Road, through Chestnuts Park, and will finish at Downhills Park.
Fires, floods, and droughts are ravaging our planet – and scientists are clear that man-made climate change is the cause.
What can we do? The science is clear – we must cut our use of fossil fuels like petrol very quickly to limit the climate catastrophe.
That means replacing petrol and diesel lorries, buses, vans and cars with ones that run on electricity or hydrogen (over 4,000 London buses are now pure electric or hybrid- a step in the right direction).
But it also means reducing how much we drive, and we need to start that now. That will cut our use of petrol and diesel quickly. Plus, it will reduce the air pollution that stunts our children’s lungs and causes thousands of early deaths in London each year.
So we call on Haringey Council to speed up its introduction of better and safer walking and cycling routes, introduce a borough-wide walking network with wider pavements/additional crossings, safe cycle routes for all ages and abilities to travel around the borough, reduce traffic deaths, enforce speed limits across the borough, and reduce overall numbers of journeys by car.
And we call on our fellow residents to help this by:
supporting the introduction of bus and cycle routes
reducing the number of journeys we make by car
walking, cycling or using public transport on as many journeys as possible
What would help you to walk and cycle more or drive less? Let us know by emailing Haringeygroup@livingstreets.org.uk
Organised by Haringey Cyclists, Haringey Living Streets, Haringey Extinction Rebellion, Haringey Clean Air Group, Friends of the Earth groups – Tottenham & Wood Green; Muswell Hill & Hornsey
Following on from our post earlier this month regarding Low Traffic Neighbourhood consultations for the borough, HCC wrote to Haringey Council with our formal response to the proposed measures. The consultation has closed, however it’s not too late to write to your local councillors to voice your support for the schemes.
Low Traffic Neighbourhoods – Public Consultation
Thank you for giving HCC the opportunity to participate in the stakeholder and other consultation events, leading up to this consultation. The plan for 25 future LTN across the Borough is very welcome and we agree it is very important the three LTNs currently consulted on are a success. Generally the current plans are very well presented, however we would urge the following be considered in future communications –
1) Emphasise that each LTN is part of an overall plan for 25 future LTNs across the Borough. The consultations refer to a “wider programme…in the Council’s Draft Walking and Cycling Action Plan…..”, however being clearer on future LTNs would reduce the fear of long term traffic displacement.
2) Try to simplify language and presentation. For example while we agree the expression “modal filter” be used in preference to the inaccurate description “road closure”, it would help if the illustration of a modal filter could be shown immediately below, as many people are not familiar with this sort of technical language.
3) Show existing pedestrian crossings, Toucan crossings and cycle contra-flows. This information should also be shown in all future design drawings.
4) For all schemes include measures:-
To improve walking and cycling permeability on the periphery of the LTN. To make local distributor roads cycle friendly. To improve pedestrian and cycle junction safety and usability at the cell periphery.
In the short term there will be an increase in motor traffic on local distributor roads, so in the absence of these measures, the potential of LTNs for modal shift will not be realised and the overall project could fail.
We support the proposed LTN measures and school streets.
1) Myddleton Rd should be made 2-way for cycles to facilitate access to the local shops and the station.
2) The one-way streets at the North of area B (LB Enfield) should all revert to 2-way. If keeping them one way is essential to avoid a mini rat run, cycle contra-flow should be permitted. (NB The LTN “exit” arrow is pointing the wrong way at Melbourne Avenue). Cycles should be exempted from the existing right turn ban in to Kelvin Avenue.
3) TfL should change the lane designations at the Bounds Green Rd junction to the A406. The two left turn traffic lanes on the N bound approach are extremely dangerous, as cycles have to cross 2 lanes of traffic to go straight ahead. Many drivers in fact use the 2nd lane to go ahead, so on a bike you risk being overtaken by fast moving traffic on both sides. The Toucan crossings do not have cycle entries to shared use pavement and do not work.
4) There should be protected cycle lanes on Bounds Green Rd, with priority maintained at all junctions.
5) HCC would support a bus gate on Brownlow Rd (LB Enfield).
6) There should be a protected cycle route on Durnsford Rd, at least from the Library up to Bounds Green Station, possibly a 2-way track to replace parking on the N side of the road.
HCC supports the overall scheme in principle and the proposed school streets. The proposed bus gate on CS1 is particularly welcome.
1) There are a number of changes proposed to the existing very complicated one-way street system in area “A”, for example the reversal of flow on Lordsmead Road. Existing and proposed cycle contra-flow is not indicated in the plans, however we assume it is intended this will be retained at this road and the splitter island relocated to the North. There is presently no signage at the North end of the road to warn drivers there is a cycle contra-flow, so they think cycles are “going the wrong way” and this encourages aggressive behaviour, surely not what we want in an LTN! It is vital that adequate warning signage be provided. The same situation applies at many other streets in the existing one-way system. HCC has previously requested improved signage and some has been provided, but drivers often don’t see it, or ignore it and push past without slowing down or allowing adequate space for cycles to keep out of the “door zone”. This can easily put off anyone taking up or returning to cycling.
2) Rather than adjusting and improving this complicated and dangerous system, we suggest it would be far better for all these LTN roads to revert to normal 2-way operation. Historically the one-way system was introduced to cope with high traffic flows and the quieter roads were not made one-way. With lower traffic levels 2-way streets should work perfectly well, ending the current confusion, reducing traffic speeds, improving pedestrian and cycle safety, saving on signage maintenance and reducing street “clutter”. Some passing places may be needed and these might be combined with planting.
3) On CS1, leaving the LTN via Church Lane, the cycle contra-flow is obstructed by parked vehicles. The parking should be removed.
4) We suggest an urgent review of road maintenance coordinated with the inception of the LTN, for example repair of the appalling road surface on Philip Lane (especially just after the junction with Jansons Road).
5) The existing speed cushions, for example on a section of Higham road, tend to push cycle riders in to the door zone and encourage drivers to take a dominant centre road position. The speed cushions should be replaced by sinusoidal humps, or removed.
6) In area “B” the LTN proposals should work very well, in particular the school streets, however there is presently a problem with some drivers speeding on the long straight roads, such as Mannock Road. As far as can be remembered there was an in-depth public consultation carried out by Sustrans for the West Green Environmental Area and only a limited number of speed tables were introduced (for example at the East of Mannock Road). These seem to be adequate on the quieter residential roads, but not enough on present “rat runs”. We suggest limited speed table provision be extended to the North of area “B” and traffic speeds be monitored.
We very much welcome the proposals in option A. Option B would deny the benefits of the LTN to many residents and would continue the rat runs through to Hermitage Road. In view of this we would not support Option B and our comments below relate to Option A only.
1) Protected cycle lanes should be provided on St Ann’s. There is ample width for this and this could a “quick win” for modal shift.
2) The large redevelopment of the hospital site to the South of St Ann’s Rd should be fully integrated to the LTN, in terms of pedestrian and cycle access and permeability, with routes through to Stanhope Gardens and to Oakdale Road, via the old railway arch.
3) The creation of new one-way streets, for example Falmer Road, as realignments of existing one way streets now severed by modal filters, seems unnecessary. With reduced traffic levels all these streets and other existing one-way streets could become 2-way. If they are not, cycle contra-flow will be essential for the LTN to work.
4) There are local cycle routes to the North, South and East of the LTN, however these are not signposted. To encourage modal shift the following routes need to be signposted-
From West Green triangle to Wood Green and Lordship Rec, via Downhills Park (signage planned but never implemented)
From North Grove to Hackney, via Hermitage Road (the LTN should reduce traffic on this road)
From West Green Road and Brunswick Park towards CS1 and the Lea Valley
5) In time the crossings related to the routes as 3) above need to be reviewed for safety, for example the crossing at Seven Sisters Rd should be upgraded for cycle use and there should be parallel crossings at the West Green triangle, to connect the shared use area to Philip Lane and Clinton Road.
6) To improve local permeability, cycle access should be opened up at Brunel Walk and the South end of Braemar Rd.
7) The proposed no left turn from Seven Sisters Rd to Suffield Rd will make it very difficult for residents to access the road when travelling from the South. As far as we can see they would have to go a long way round via Tottenham Hale. We suggest Suffield Rd be filtered at the N to avoid this. In any case cycles should be exempt from any banned turn.
We trust our comments can be taken in to account in finalising the designs and we look forward to contributing further in the consultation process.
Low traffic neighbourhoods reduce through traffic on residential side roads, and encourage residents to walk, cycle, play and meet in a healthier and less polluted environment.
St Ann’s Scheme Background: St Ann’s ward, located in the centre of the borough has some of the highest levels of pedestrian and cycling casualties, and the highest levels of through-traffic in the borough. It also has low car ownership with 60% of households having no motor vehicle. The levels of through-traffic are especially detrimental for the seven schools in the ward. St Ann’s – suggested consultation response: Please show support for Option A proposed by the council, which would significantly reduce levels of through-traffic by five schools and a nursery, improving air quality and road safety for young residents. Option B keeps through-traffic running, through Avenue Road, Cornwall Road, and Black Boy Lane.
Bruce Grove West Green Scheme Background: The scheme will cover an area stretching from Turnpike Lane station to Tottenham High Road, having been expanded westwards after requests from residents. In the eastern part of the neighbourhood, around 30 people have been hurt walking or cycling in the last 4 years, one of the worst records in London. Bruce Grove is also Haringey’s most densely populated ward and has the lowest proportion of open space (only 5%). Bruce Grove – suggested consultation response: Please show support for the scheme and give (both positive and constructive) feedback on the design. You may wish to express concern about the difficulty of cycling on many of the one-way streets within the area and also ask the council to improve sections of poor quality pavement alongside the LTN to help make it more inclusive for everyone walking or rolling on the neighbourhood’s streets.
Bounds Green Scheme Background: Bounds Green has long been plagued by rat-running as commuter traffic leaves the North Circular road and takes a number of residential routes through the area. Haringey is running the consultation alongside the adjacent Bowes LTN trials by Enfield Council with two main areas being implemented. ‘B’ is bounded by the North Circular, Bounds Green Road and High Road to the east. ‘C’ is to the west side and edged by Bounds Green Road, Durnsford Road and the industrial estate. This scheme will enable safe local cycle journeys between Wood Green/Hornsey and Palmers Green. Bounds Green – suggested consultation response: Please show support for the scheme and give (both positive and constructive) feedback on the design.
Don’t forget the deadline – 17th September 2021!
Below are some links to further resources on Low Traffic Neighbourhoods which explain a little more about them and how they work:
Haringey Cycling Campaign welcomes this move and has written to the council saying so – and suggesting some improvements.
Click here to have your say and tell the council what you think about the School Streets – they are being launched as a 6-month trial. We gather that the responses received so far have been split roughly 50/50 between those in favour and those against, so the more people respond positively, the more likely the schemes are to become permanent.
A School Street is a timed street closure during drop-off and pick-up times outside a school. Usually these last for 1-1.5 hours at the start and end of the school day, tailored to each school’s start and finish times. The School Streets will operate Monday-Friday during term times.
Only people walking and cycling, and those with vehicle exemption permits are eligible to enter the zone. Anyone else driving into the zone during the stated times will receive a fine. You do not need to have an exemption permit to exit from the School Street.
There are two ways that Haringey is operating the School Streets:
Volunteer-led School Streets
Some School Streets will be operated by volunteers who are members of the school community. They will extend a barrier across the street while the School Street is in operation and marshal the barrier to allow permitted vehicles into and out of the street.
To support the volunteers, enforcement officers sometimes help to monitor compliance.
Camera Enforced School Streets
These School Streets will not physically block access to motor vehicles, instead they will be monitored using Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras (ANPR). These cameras monitor the number plates of the vehicles that drive into the street and administer fines if the vehicle is not registered for a permit. The penalty charge issued for driving into a School Street is £130, reduced to £65 if paid within 14 days.
Existing School Streets
School Street in operation: 8-9.15am and 2.30-3.45pm
Haringey Cycling Campaign has written the following letter to the council welcoming the new school streets and suggesting some improvements:
HCC warmly welcomes the eleven school streets schemes due to be implemented this summer. Overall they should be effective in making walking and cycling to school more attractive and reducing car use. We know many more schools are calling for these measures and look forward to seeing plans for the ‘phase 2’ schools being brought forward without delay.
We have a few queries and suggestions:
1) Do all the schools have cycle training? We think this is essential to complement the physical measures.
2) Could the scheme at Tiverton Primary be expanded to include Pulford Rd and the full length of Fladbury Rd? Closing the road to cars only in front of the school, will not be very effective.
3) The scheme drawings should note the existing cycle contra-flow at Bishopswood Rd (Highgate Junior) and Barratt Avenue (St Paul’s RC Primary).
4) Could there be cycle contra-flow permitted at Halefield Rd and Glendish Rd, for cycle access to Harris Primary Academy?
5) Will the proposed pavement widening at Everington Rd (Coldfal Primary) have a dropped kerb to maintain cycle access to the school?
6) At Highgate Primary, is the slip road to North Hill included as a school street? It is noted for markings but is not coloured green. As previously suggested, cycle contraflow should be allowed at the slip road.
7) The Nightingale Lane school street (Campsbourne Schools) is too short, leaving “school run” parking only a short distance from the schools. Could Hawthorn and North View roads become school streets, with Nightingale Lane extended to the junction with Beechwood Road? This would be possible with the same number of cameras as the existing scheme.
8) We suggest the scheme for Rokesly Primary could be improved if Rokesly Avenue could be a school street. This might increase traffic diverting to Rosebery Rd and Elder Avenue, however Rokesly Avenue and Elmfield Avenue will continue to be used by buses during school street hours, so this would seem reasonable.
We are pleased to note these schemes are being monitored for the trial period and trust any adverse impacts can be mitigated by measures put in place as needed. Many of the schemes could become part of future LTN’s.
There could be a very effective “mini LTN” at Highgate Primary, to include closing the narrow one-way section of Storey Road to motor traffic and replacing the narrow and convoluted footpath to Sheldon Avenue by a wider and well-lit direct connection, for pedestrians and cycles.
for Haringey Cycling Campaign
cc Cllr Mike Hakata, Cllr Matt White, Neil Goldberg, Maurice Richards, Calum Jacobs, Simi Shah
Cycle superhighway 1 (CS1) is approaching its fifth birthday. The route, which is the only fully-signed cycle route in the borough, runs from Tottenham to the City and should be a key commuter line for the east of Haringey and Hackney. Sadly, it has earned a reputation for epitomising all the compromises and bodges that went into the early cycle superhighways, with a lack of meaningful protection for cyclists. Haringey council has recently won £604,152 under TfL’s emergency Covid infrastructure scheme to upgrade their section of the route. Here we take a look at the proposed improvements.
The Haringey section of the route enters the borough in South Tottenham, running along Holmdale Terrace and St Ann’s Road before winding around some back roads to join the A10 pavement. There are multiple problems on this section of the route, with too much traffic for comfortable cycling and a narrow shared pavement under the railway bridge on the A10. After some relief on a decent cycle track, we get to one of the worst parts of the route. At Seven Sisters, there are multiple sets of traffic lights and the limited space is shared by people walking and cycling. This is especially bad on the section of pavement crowded with people boarding buses or getting onto the tube at Seven Sisters station. Bolder cyclists often forgo the whole experience and take to the busy junction instead.
After more cycling on the pavement, CS1 then routes onto Philip Lane. Here there have been some retrospective improvements: light segregation with wands. However, the cycle lane disappears at bus stops and southbound riders have to cut across traffic to turn onto Town Hall Approach Road. The route then winds up residential streets in Bruce Grove, running parallel to the A10. There is no protection for cyclists where the route crosses the busier roads of The Avenue and Lordship Lane, both of which involve navigating two lanes of robust traffic to make a right turn. Cyclists are required to use roads that have significant amounts of through motor traffic using the area as a shortcut, including in the opposite direction.
The entire route was originally proposed to be a straight run along the A10. As a compromise, it ended up winding along ‘quiet’ backstreets. Whilst a few sections of the route offer improvements for people who were already prepared to cycle, it falls very short of the oft-cited safety standard: something you’d be willing to let your 12-year-old cycle on.
Adding temporary ‘bus stop boarders’ on Philip Lane. It is vital to separate buses and cycles for a cycle route to be truly inclusive – most people feel very vulnerable moving out of the cycle lane into traffic to overtake a stopped bus. Waltham Forest cyclists have an explainer for the various solutions for bus stop/cycle track conflict, and whilst bus stop boarders are their least preferred option, Philip Lane may be too narrow for alternatives.
At Seven Sisters, to “relocate cycle track and shared-use track away from queue hotspots”. This falls short: there needs to be dedicated cycle space here, protected from cars and distinct from pedestrian areas; the area is simply too busy for any shared space to work. It is positive that Haringey council acknowledge the problem, but the true solution is likely to involve a significant amount of work, for example moving the entire route to the east side of the road to better integrate with the proposed cycle route from Tottenham to Camden.
Unspecified “cycling improvements” between Ermine Road and Holmdale Terrace. To make this part of the route truly inclusive, it needs far less through traffic on it.
Lacking from the proposals are:
Any plans to reroute sections onto the A10; we’re stuck with the backstreets strategy for now.
Any additional protection at the points where the route crosses busier roads (St Ann’s Road, The Avenue, Lordship Lane). These junctions are the limiting factor that would prevent a less-bold cyclist from using the route. As long as these busy points remain, improvements to other parts of the route are likely to be of limited value.
Any protection for people turning right from Philip Lane onto Town Hall Approach.
Improvements to the narrow contraflows on the route; for example, by moving car parking spaces.
Separately, Haringey have won funding for an extension to CS1, carrying it further north to the borough boundary with Enfield. Done properly, this could link into Enfield mini-Holland, give people in Ponders End a route into the the City, and allow cycle access for people travelling to North Middlesex Hospital from Haringey.
The alterations proposed to create a CS1 extension are:
Partial parking bay suspension – Queen Street & White Hart Lane
New two-way cycle track on Bull Lane or footway widening (shared-use path)
Road closure in Beaufoy Road changed to modal filter
Narrowing of carriageway
Decluttering and Wayfinding
It is encouraging that Haringey are considering adding cycle track on Bull Lane; although, as Bull Lane is in Enfield (the same street is called Queen Street in Haringey) it isn’t clear whether any of this track would actually be in Haringey.
At Beaufoy Road, Haringey’s proposal is to replace the existing road closure barrier with a modal filter. However, the existing barrier already prevents rat-running traffic and so many cyclists will notice no difference here.
Furthermore, the new extension again fails to offer any solutions at junctions with busy roads. Specifically, there is no protection when crossing White Hart Lane. And again, Haringey has chosen to route along side streets. On entering Enfield the route will have park on one side and industrial units on the other; potentially a deserted and therefore intimidating environment, particularly for female cyclists using the route in the evenings.
Haringey Cyclists has sent the council our proposal for how Haringey can deliver on their bid and address the other problems on this route. Let’s see if they can keep the promise of ‘a much-improved north-south link in the east of the borough reducing the burden on public transport by providing a viable alternative to private car use’. We hope these extraordinary times might lead to Haringey having at least one decent cycle route. But it looks like CS1 may hit its fifth birthday with little to celebrate.
Haringey’s draft transport strategy comes at a vital time for London and its boroughs. As the Mayor of London makes clear in his own plans for transport in London, a shift away from car-based travel is absolutely vital to prevent congestion getting out of control and an escalation of existing public health problems related to poor air quality and inactivity.
With the population of this borough expected to rise significantly over the coming years, it’s clear that ‘do nothing’ is not an option. In order to prevent gridlock, a significant shift to transport modes that make better use of existing space – walking, cycling and public transport – is required. Added to the negative impacts of road congestion, there is a substantial and growing understanding of the negative health impacts of an inactive, car-based population. Currently 2/3rds of all journeys by car in London are less than 5km, a distance that is easily cycled or walked in around 20 minutes. Cycling for just 20 minutes a day has been shown to bring astonishing health improvements, greater than other moderate activities, because cycling encourages people to exert themselves for example when they encounter a hill or set off from traffic lights. Like walking, cycling for transport is an ‘incidental activity’ – exercise that is built into everyday life, not an additional burden on your discretionary time like other exercise can be.
Cycling is for everyone, now more so than ever. Adapted cycles are helping people with mobility issues for whom cycling can be easier than walking. New technologies like e-bikes are opening up opportunities for active transport to those who can’t or don’t want to overexert themselves and e-assist cargo cycles are bringing forward exciting opportunities for freight consolidation. New developments in dockless bike hire technology mean that not owning a bike is no longer a barrier to cycling. Currently just 8% of 243,700 potential cycle trips in this borough are being made by bike. The key to unlocking this enormous, untapped potential is putting cycle infrastructure in place to support it.
We look forward to seeing detailed plans and targets for how cycling growth will be supported in the forthcoming cycling and walking strategy. As the 2015/16 review by the Environment and Community Scrutiny Panel correctly identified, motor traffic speed and volume is the greatest discouragement to cycling. The overriding focus of the Cycling and Walking Strategy needs to be delivery of a dense cycle network that is entirely separated from fast or heavy traffic flows, complemented with the creation of low, or no-traffic neighbourhoods. This is the only proven way to deliver a step-change in cycling levels on a population scale, with encouraging results from Haringey’s neighbouring boroughs showing that this rings true even in places more car dependent than Haringey.
Haringey is well placed to make progress in this area. The borough already has several low-traffic neighbourhoods, relatively low (and falling) car ownership and high proportion of trips are already made by walking or public transport. In places there is a vestigial cycle network, but such networks are only as good as their weakest link, with junctions a particular failing. The challenge over the coming years is to make complete routes that offer a consistent standard from end-to-end.
It’s clear that this won’t be easy – the issue is one of urban space and how best to use it. Despite overwhelming evidence that cycling is good for people and business, the difficult choices that need to be made to enable all-ages cycling means tough choices to change how our urban space is allocated. Change always meets with resistance, and it’s clear from other boroughs making progress towards fairer, more liveable streets, that a minority of people will never be satisfied with any reallocation of road space to cycling. Strong support from all levels of local government is required to deliver outcomes that match strategic goals. An attempt to satisfy everyone often leads to outcomes that please no-one. Haringey’s resulting strategy needs to be followed through root and branch with delivery of all transport-related projects in the borough. From minor residential development to even the smallest highways amendment, the question needs to be asked – how will this help deliver Haringey’s stated goals? Delivery needs to match strategic aspirations every time, or opportunities to improve our borough will continue to be missed, to the detriment of us all.
‘Daddy, can we please cycle to Finsbury Park again this weekend?’
Last summer extraordinary things happened in one part of Haringey. It was a summer of fun for kids: on roads and streets where before there was only bad air and road traffic noise, now there was the sound of kids playing out. Street football was a daily occurrence, children were using the road to cycle to school and there was even the occasional lemonade stand. It wasn’t just children who were joining in with being more active. Adults across this large area realised they didn’t really need the car for their shorter journeys – walking was nearly as fast and made them feel pretty good now the air was cleaner. Cycling to Finsbury Park to pick up the tube was quicker than the bus and nicer than cramming onto the packed trains, and getting there on a bike suddenly seemed easy now the journey could be done mostly without having to ride with speeding traffic.
Surely this was all the work of a council fully committed to the health of their residents, the sort that would make bold claims about making their borough the most liveable in London? Sadly this utopia did not last. While other boroughs nearby were permanently closing roads to through traffic to entrench a new, healthier lifestyle in their boroughs, Wightman Road and its adjoining roads were reopened as through routes for motor traffic. The weekend bike rides to the park had to stop.
‘I’m sorry. There’s no safe way to cycle there now’.
As a cycle campaign we are of course primarily interested in high quality provision for cycling that allows anyone to feel confident using a bike to get around. This has been the focus of our continuing engagement in the Green Lanes Area Transport Study. There are many ways to achieve this but many options that improve conditions for people on bikes also have much wider benefits for those in the area – even if they never cycle. For example making areas more healthy and liveable, reducing air pollution and even reducing journey times for drivers by lowering overall traffic levels and simplifying routes. If you live in or travel through Harringay or the Green Lanes area, you have until Sunday to complete the council survey on future options for Wightman Road and the surrounding area. We believe this is an issue primarily for local people to decide, so please take a look at Living Wightman’s advice on how to complete the survey. While some of the options presented can deliver a suitable cycle route (in particular we recommend you support the proposal for a northbound cycle track on Green Lanes, desperately needed in an area with no safe north/south routes), the option to ‘filter’ Wightman Road will deliver multiple health and air quality benefits as well as a safe route suitable for all-ages cycling. Many parts of this borough are already ‘filtered’ to through traffic. Other boroughs which are right next to Haringey are showing how such schemes, if well managed, can reduce traffic over a wide area. The use of Wightman Road as a conduit for through traffic has negative consequences for the areas to the north and south that also have long-standing issues with excessive through traffic.
The council’s response to the issues encountered on Wightman Road is a real test for them – are they serious about tackling pollution and unlocking the massive potential for active travel in this borough? Or, as suggested by the recent consultation on the Wood Green AAP, is the future of our borough just as polluted, congested and unhealthy as our present? This is your chance to tell the council what sort of place you want this borough to evolve into. Don’t miss the chance to have your voice heard.
These proposals were discussed at Haringey Cycling Campaign’s monthly meeting on the 14 November. Unfortunately, we found very little to recommend from a cycling perspective. The junction treatment outside Bruce Grove station is likely to benefit pedestrians and to a lesser extent those on bikes. However, in our view the remainder of the proposed work would decrease safety for people cycling, and as such we are requesting TfL go back to the drawing board and come back with something much better. Our reasoning is set out below – you may wish to raise these points in your response. Remember the consultation closes on 7 December!
The proposals include a dangerous and unnecessary pinch point The new signalised pedestrian crossing proposes to narrow the existing carriageway width to 3m in each direction. We object to this creation of a pinch point, which seems unnecessary for pedestrian safety as the proposed crossing is signalised. We are concerned that the proposed narrowing will increase conflict between road users – in theory cycles should “take the lane” to prevent dangerous overtaking but this would only be a sensible approach on a road with light volumes of traffic travelling at low speeds. For what we think are obvious reasons, this approach is not applicable to this situation.
Proposals remove existing cycle provision
There is an existing cycle route (LCN 54) that crosses the High Rd at St Loys Rd. In 2003 and 2006 detailed proposals were made, but not implemented, to upgrade this crossing. There are presently cycle reservations to the north and south of the junction, which are at least some assistance in crossing the High Road. The present proposals include the removal of the south reservation and this is not an acceptable alteration as no replacement provision is shown.
Current proposals are incompatible with increasing cycle numbers
A 2007 Transport for London scheme for the A10 from Monument Way to St Loys Rd, consulted on but not implemented, included cycle lanes. There remains ample road space for comprehensive cycle provision. Indeed, as part of implementing Mini Holland, Enfield are currently consulting on a proposal for protected cycle tracks on the A1010 up to the Haringey border. Cycle Superhighway 1 does not provide a suitable alternative route, particularly with the decision not to filter through traffic on Broadwater Road. The A10 at Bruce Grove is and will remain heavily used by cycles: Planning policy for Tottenham regeneration seeks to reduce private car use and improving cycle provision in Enfield and Waltham Forest means that the ambition for the A10 should be as a main cycle route.
We therefore urge that these proposals are either redesigned or not taken forward as part of this scheme.