We need your help!
Transport for London (TfL) are consulting on a proposed crossing of the A406 at Palmerston Road, N13. It’s part of a ‘quietway’ – a quiet route for all-age, all-ability cycling (Quietway 10). But Palmerston Road is a rat run for drivers going to the A406, and there are no plans to stop through traffic.
It has been extended to allow more feedback and now closes on the 15 October. Please respond!
You can see the plans and respond here: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/roads/bowes-road-palmerston-road/or by emailing email@example.com – for speed you could use the wording in our consultation response below.
The proposal is to upgrade the current toucan to a crossing where bikes and pedestrians cross separately. Most of the design is good. But unless Palmerston Road is closed to cars where it meets the A406, it won’t be low traffic, and so it won’t suitable as a quietway route for cycling.
An important link for walking and cycling
For cycling, this crossing is a crucial link between the A105 (Green Lanes) cycle lanes and the centre of London. Palmerston Crescent is the southern end of the cycle route, linking to Palmerston Road, which is planned to become the start of Quietway 10. In other words, if the crossing and the quietway are done well, cycling will be safe for all abilities all the way from Enfield Town to Farringdon. And given that Haringey Council have no plans to put cycle lanes along their stretch of the A105, this is vital.
This crossing is also crucial for pedestrians, including families on the school run. Getting it right could encourage more kids and their parents to travel actively to school and back – as well as encouraging more walking for everyone on this route.
What’s the problem?
At present, Palmerston Road is neither safe nor inviting for cycling, and certainly not suitable for 8-80-year-olds. Drivers on this narrow rat-run tend to get impatient when ‘stuck’ behind any cyclist taking the correct, central position. Few parents would take a child on this route by bike. So, merely banning the left turn ban from the A406 into Palmerston is inadequate – hardly any traffic makes this movement anyway. The main flow of its through traffic is northbound towards the A406 – this is what makes Palmerston Road so hostile.
Removing through traffic could be easily achieved with a ‘filter’ such as bollards or planters at the A406 end that prevent cars entering or exiting, but allow bikes through. This would not only create a safe cycling route but improve quality of life for Palmerston Road residents, allowing more walking, outdoor play and a stronger community.
Won’t that mean more traffic on another residential street?
Yes – the whole area or ‘cell’ needs to be considered. The Bowes area is afflicted with a lot of ratrunning traffic. So other filters, banned turns and bus gates should be used to create a ‘low-traffic neighbourhood‘, where through traffic is kept to the A105, the A406 and Bounds Green Road. This approach elsewhere has shown that fewer car journeys will take place overall – in Waltham Forest low-traffic neighbourhoods led to 16% traffic evaporation.
Our consultation response
If you agree with our points below, please consider making the same ones in your response. If you only have a few minutes, copy and paste them into an email and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘Palmerston Road / A406 consultation’.
- We do not support the plan to ban the left turn into Palmerston Road. Instead, it should be closed to vehicles entering/exiting with a modal filter, to remove through traffic from Palmerston Road but allow bikes through. Traffic volumes are too high for Palmerston to function as a Quietway without this measure.
- We have concerns about the staggered crossing. If there is a delay between the two crossing stages, cyclists and pedestrians, including families walking to school, are stranded in the middle of one of London’s most polluted roads – known to be well over legal limits for pollutants. It’s essential that the time waiting is kept to an absolute minimum, both to limit exposure to dangerous air pollution and support the priority given to walking and cycling in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy.
- We welcome the change into a cycle and pedestrian crossing, the wider path accessing Palmerston Crescent and parking restrictions.
- We welcome the realignment of the crossing to make it more direct between Palmerston Crescent and Palmerston Road.
But this is our most pressing concern: for this to be a safe, inviting link with the A105 scheme, and for Palmerston Road to function adequately as a stretch of Quietway, we think it imperative that it has a modal filter where it meets the A406.