Monica Chakraverty, one of Haringey Cycling Campaign’s Climate Safe Streets Champions, reports on our recent ride
Haringey Cycling Campaign group were delighted to be joined on 27th April by five key candidates in the coming local elections on 5th May. Mike Hakata represented Labour and is Haringey Council cabinet member for environment, transport and the climate emergency, as well as deputy leader of the council. He was joined by Scott Emery from the Liberal Democrats, Pamela Harling and Tom Hoyland from the Green Party and Claudia Matthews from the Conservative Party.
Together, they took a somewhat chilly tour around local streets, beginning on Wood Green High Road, that took in the good, the bad and the ugly in terms of traffic and cycle safety. The town centre proved a fairly hostile start, with multiple vehicle lanes and parking, yet no space for cycling, and difficulties for pedestrians to boot. They cycled on to see how some cut-through, rat-run side streets had been transformed into safer, cleaner spaces for residents, pedestrians and cyclists alike. These included well thought out, ‘quick wins’ such as spaced bollards that allowed accessibility whilst limiting traffic, as well as school streets such as the new one at Belmont Junior School.
Some of the changes would still benefit from tweaking, such as the dangerous cycle contraflow down Broadwater Road, or staggered barriers that could still let mopeds through but which might impede those with accessibility issues. There was one tense moment when a bus came a little too close to one candidate whilst they were trying to use a designated cycle crossing, and this demonstrated the journey ahead in terms of cycle safety for those who wish to use cleaner, active transport in the future.
Much is being promised in the future by candidates through London and some exciting commitments have been made. In Haringey, we’re delighted that Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party have all pledged to commit to key Climate Safe Streets asks. These include protected cycle routes and Vision Zero, with the aim of eliminating all serious cycle injuries caused by motor vehicles.
Other boroughs have also focused on inspiring action plans so, for example, all four main candidates in Hackney have committed to making it safe for every child in that borough to cycle to school by 2026 – this would entail more than school streets, ensuring safe routes along their entire journeys. Imagine a borough with limited school-run traffic, where kids get fresh air and safe exercise before they sit at their desks for the day…
Climate change and overcrowded streets are two issues that won’t go away and won’t be solved overnight. The cycle tour allowed key Haringey candidates to witness at first hand the reality for people who want to cycle in Haringey and to, hopefully, acknowledge that such a healthy, sustainable form of transport deserves focus, funding and a future.
Candidates from the four main political parties in Haringey joined members of HCC on a ride on 27 April to experience a mix of better and worse cycling infrastructure in Haringey. We also asked each party to pledge to commit to Haringey Cycling Campaign’s 5 asks.
Labour, Liberal Democrats and Greens [between them, receiving 92.5% of the votes cast in Haringey] all pledged:
On behalf of all 57 Haringey Liberal Democrat candidates I am happy to confirm our support for all of LCC’s policy asks, and in many cases want to go further, as set out in the Haringey Liberal Democrat manifesto.
Luke Cawley Harrison, Haringey Liberal Democrat leader
I regularly cycle in the borough, I love being active and getting places quickly but I often find being a two wheeled road user scary. Haringey Cycling Campaign have brilliant proposals to make cycling safer. These would not only benefit existing cyclists but encourage more people out of their cars to join us! We would all benefit from cleaner air.
Rosie Pearce, Green Party candidate for Seven Sisters Ward, writing on behalf of Emma Chan and Harry Chrispin, Haringey Green Party leaders
We’re really committed to delivering schemes that will fulfil these asks, however some of these schemes need funding from TfL, while others need further feasibility – if we don’t deliver the specific schemes listed, we’ll deliver schemes like them – for more detail on Haringey Labour’s take on the asks, see below and also the Haringey Labour manifesto
Mike Hakata, Haringey Labour deputy leader, writing on behalf of Peray Ahmet, Haringey Labour leader
Below is the detailed response from Mike Hakata to each of Haringey Cycling Campaign’s 5 asks:
Dear HCC, Thank you for the pledges. My responses are below.
HCC Top 5 Priorities to be delivered and operational no later than May 2026:
1. Two additional north-south cycle lanes and a continuous east-west cycle lane The cycle lanes must be fully segregated and must connect at both ends into the cycle lanes of neighbouring Boroughs. One of the north-south cycle lanes must go down Green Lanes and HCC to be consulted on all routes.
In the Walking and Cycling Action Plan passed by Cabinet in March we have already committed to and budgeted for several strategic cycle lanes which will criss-cross the borough. These include a North/South route along Green Lanes with the aim of running from Enfield to Hackney. The first stage of this work is fully funded and will focus on the Turnpike Lane to Finsbury Park section. We are also working on improving and extending Q10 from Bowes down to Turnpike Lane. We will also install a route connecting Tottenham Hale to Northumberland Park and explore an additional lane along Wightman Rd. There are a number of East-West routes which are budgeted for and include work on CFR2, connecting Tottenham Hale to Camden, St Ann’s Rd, Lordship Lane, Tottenham Lane and White Hart Lane. HCC will be consulted on all designs.
2. Commit to 100% Borough wide LTN coverage delivering 75% coverage by 2026 The phased implementation of LTNs should include the delivery of the greater of a minimum of 3 LTNs per year or LTN coverage to increase by 15% of the Borough per year.
This summer will see the rollout of 3 large LTNs in Bounds Green, Bruce Grove/West Green and St Ann’s, covering approximately 15% of the borough. Once capacity has been mapped out we will begin work on two further budgeted for LTNs in Alexandra North and North Tottenham. Design work will be undertaken this year and implementation will be next year. These two LTNs are both large and will cover another approximate 15%. We will explore the implementation of smaller schemes to compliment the schemes noted above during this time. It is our expectation to continue rolling out schemes at this pace and so should expect boroughwide coverage of 60% by 2026. However, it should be noted that we are undertaking other small and large-scale traffic management/public realm improvement schemes during this time which are not officially being named as LTNs such as the Ladder/Wightman/Endyminion/Turnpike& Green Lanes project and the Queens Street project on the border of Enfield.
3. School streets to be introduced for every school in Haringey This includes Primary & Secondary schools and colleges. Where schools are located on main roads alternative safe cycling arrangements and air quality mitigations should be introduced.
We have so far rolled out 23 school streets and have 2 more we expect to go live in the coming weeks. We have pledged to install 60 over the course of the next 4 years which will mean every school, including secondaries, which are able to have a school street will have one.
4. To commit to Vision Zero: eliminating all serious cycle injuries caused by motor vehicles Haringey’s cycle injury elimination strategy must include reducing speed limits to 20mph on all remaining 30mph & 40mph roads by 2024 and upgrading all dangerous road junctions.
Cabinet passed the Road Danger Reduction Action Plan in the March Cabinet which underlines our commitment to Vision Zero. We are investing millions in safe walking schemes including improved public realm, pavements, crossings, signs and speed mitigation measures.
5. Create a pro-cycling culture in Haringey This should include additional school cycle training (including every primary school pupil to be given Level 1-3 training continuing to secondary school) and every transport interchange, town centre, retail parade, residential street and residential estate to have either a bike hangar or cycle stand.
We are exploring an alternative model to cycle training in order to safeguard and expand provision across the borough as well as build the best working terms and conditions for trainers.
Haringey Council’s draft Walking and Cycling Action Plan consultation closed on 10 January 2022. Together with several local organisations, Haringey Cycling Campaign submitted a detailed joint 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.