The Better Streets committee has been poring over the council’s plans for the Connaught Gardens neighbourhood in Palmers Green. What do you think – will these measures be effective in creating a quieter residential area with less traffic, where more people are likely to walk, cycle and get to know their neighbours? We think it’s got some good points but, like the Wolves Lane area, a lot more needs to be done. Our response is below.
This consultation ends on 22 October – please see more and respond here.
The ‘Connaught Gardens’ area is a residential neighbourhood bounded by the A406, the A105 (Green Lanes) and Hedge Lane. It gets a lot of through traffic as drivers seek short cuts to these major roads, especially along the Hazelwood Lane – Connaught Gardens – Callard Avenue route.
Some quieter streets…
- We welcome the introduction of one-ways to reduce rat running on Osborne, Windsor Roads and Lightcliffe Roads, as well as speed bumps. We think these measures will be effective in reducing both volume and speed on these roads – much better for residents and for walking and cycling (especially with two-way working for bikes).
- However, drivers avoiding the Hedge Lane traffic signals will inevitably use Park Avenue and New River Crescent instead. Park Avenue already sees a number of collisions – the screen shot from Crashmap below shows six causing injuries over the last 15 years at the junction with Lightcliffe alone. With displaced traffic on those roads the risk of collision will increase, as well as making life unpleasant for residents and discouraging active travel. We therefore want to see both Park Avenune and New River Crescent included in the one-way system, or closed with modal filters; or at the very least given sinusoidal speed bumps as well.
- We welcome the point no entries for Arnold Gardens and Chimes Avenue. We note that elsewhere they have mixed results; some are respected, while others are regularly flouted by drivers. We also note that only one of the point no entries will include a kerb build-out, according to the drawings. We want to see these measures monitored for 3-6 months following implementation to see if drivers are respecting them or whether more effective measures are needed.
- A further point no entry or other treatment to reduce through traffic would be welcome on Oakthorpe Road. Among other benefits, less traffic turning into Oakthorpe Road at the A105 / Oakthorpe Road junction would make for a safer junction, especially for those walking and cycling.
…but the main rat runs remain
- We are very disappointed that no proposals are made to reduce through traffic on the main through routes – Hazelwood Lane, Connaught Gdns, Munster Gdns (where a collision has caused a serious injury, according to Crashmap) Callard Ave and Oakthorpe Road – particularly given that Hazelwood Lane is the site of a large primary school. We call for measures that slow and reduce through traffic, such as a modally filtered cell or wider network of alternating one-way streets, throughout the area.
- On Hazelwood Lane, residents report congestion at school run hours including parents driving onto the pavement, angry altercations between drivers who can’t pass each other, near misses between drivers and families crossing the entrance to Hazelwood Lane, and at least one child has been injured and needed hospital treatment. The school has a ‘drop, wave and go’ policy that encourages parents to use their cars for the school run. None of this makes walking or cycling to school a safe and attractive option. We therefore call for a ‘school street’ traffic ban on Hazelwood Lane in school run hours, and council engagement with the school to actively discourage parents driving the school run, rather than facilitating it.
- Finally: we would like to see a 20mph zone throughout the neighbourhood, reinforced by sinusoidal speed humps, as soon as funding allows.