Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Improving Tottenham Hale

A response to Haringey Council Tottenham Hale gyratory proposals

From: Haringey Living Streets; Sustainable Haringey Network; Campaign for Better Transport London

Living Streets is the national charity which campaigns for better streets and public spaces for people on foot. The Sustainable Haringey Network is concerned with the need to reduce our carbon footprint and therefore campaigns for more opportunities for car free travel. The Campaign for Better Transport is the independent national body that seeks to put people and the environment first in transport decisions and to find sustainable transport solutions.

The proposal to eliminate the notorious one way system which turns a whole area of Tottenham into an island bounded by swirling traffic is very welcome. Also welcome is the proposal to enlarge the bus station at Tottenham Hale station so that it can be served by all the routes. The no-right turn from the High Road into Broad Lane is welcome as it deals with the potential problem of increasing the traffic in that road with its narrow section and tight corner. Wider pavements with opportunities for tree planting are also welcome. There are however some concerns:

· Most proposed pedestrian crossings are staggered. These cause considerable inconvenience to pedestrians. In most cases it would be possible to build them so that they are continuous from one side of the road to the other.

· There are no crossings for pedestrians over the High Road at the corner of Philip Lane.

· Although there are proposals to remove flower planters and some trees there is little concern paid to increasing the greening of the High Road apart from the possibility of some new trees. Planners need to do everything possible to increase to the maximum the amount of pavement area, greenery, social spaces/squares and facilities encouraging community usage (eg benches) along the route.

· No traffic calming measures appear to be proposed. This is particularly important in the High Road where there is an uninterrupted sweep from the Monument to Seven Sisters corner. The design should reflect the fact that alternatives to private car usage are certain to have an ever greater priority in the near future. This is not only due to the increasing recognition of the positive need for liveable urban environments, but also due to the overarching need to create a low/zero-carbon society as soon as humanly possible. For example we note that London Borough of Haringey's recently adopted carbon target is 40% reduction by 2020.

· It is not clear whether there are drop off points for cars within the Hale bus station nor where the entrance to the car park is to be.

· The elimination of the south-bound bus lane in the High Road would cause considerable delays to buses. If two lanes southbound are required for general traffic the right turn lane designated for traffic from the High Road to West Green Road could be used. A right turn prohibition at this point would inconvenience relatively few vehicles and these could be redirected around Monument Way and Broad Lane. At least this part of the High Road could then have a bus lane.

· Cycle lanes are not continuous and cyclists appear to have no priority over other traffic. There are particular problems with the cycle lane alongside the High Road. This appears to be set in the middle of the footpath creating conflicts with pedestrians. The cycle lane could instead be set near the kerb and a cycle crossing incorporated over West Green Road. Northbound the cycle lane appears to end at Town Hall Approach. It should continue up this road allowing cyclists to ride contrary to the one-way bus lane. Traffic lights should be set to allow cyclists to proceed without having to dismount.

If we want a modern urban environment that's fit for purpose in the near future, and value for money, we should be designing it to ensure the priorities are pedestrians, cycling and public transport.

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