New reports show positive progress for Enfield’s Quieter Neighbourhoods
A traffic monitoring report for each of Enfield’s completed Quieter Neighbourhoods was published by Enfield Council in August 2023. They are presented as a set of slides and available here at Bowes and Fox Lane.
The monitoring took place in late November/early December 2022 and followed exercises carried out in September 2021 after the initial implementation of each scheme.
- There is positive news in terms of traffic reduction in both QNs. Fox Lane is more positive in terms of boundary roads in particular, which carry the most traffic.
- Further monitoring will take place on some roads, named in each report. Other ‘mitigation’ may follow depending on the outcomes.
- There are limits to the extent to which this exercise is directly comparable to the one in 2021.
For more information on the impact of schemes in London to date see this extensive 2023 study.
The Bowes report focused on roads beyond the QN, as well as those extending from boundary roads.
The headlines from the Bowes report are positive overall
- Of the twelve roads monitored three have what Enfield classifies as a ‘significant’ reduction in traffic, seven are similar to before and one is higher.
- Eight of the roads had a significant reduction in the AM peak. The PM peak was similar with four roads having a significant increase and another four a significant decrease.
As the focus of the latest monitoring exercise was not identical to the first, neither report captures a picture which makes a holistic comparison possible.
Enfield Council’s figures in December 2021 named the three roads in Bowes which had experienced the largest falls in traffic (Palmerston, York and Maidstone Roads – approximately 75% on average between them), but none of them were part of the latter exercise.
The same applies to those which had seen the largest increase in traffic in the first exercise – Spencer Avenue, Nightingale Road and Truro Road (increase of a third on average) . These roads may have had an improved outcome from the implementation of the Bounds Green scheme in Haringey, but again it would be good to have the figures.
In addition boundary roads were not monitored to the same extent as in Fox Lane, including Bounds Green Road which is in Haringey rather than Enfield. Again it would be helpful to have the figures without which there is not a fully holistic picture. Haringey laid out its plans for monitoring its scheme in Bounds Green a year ago and data is not yet available.
Monitoring in Fox Lane also followed the same methodology of looking at boundary roads and those beyond. Twice as many survey locations were used as was the case in Bowes.
The headlines are also positive for Fox Lane
- Of the 24 roads, half saw a significant fall, a third were in line with previous figures and a sixth were higher.
- Perhaps most encouragingly the boundary roads, which have the most traffic, tended to experience the biggest drops. These include Cannon Hill (20%), Bourne Hill (10%) and Aldermans Hill (11%).
- There is less evidence of habits changing according to the time of day, although it seems to be the case that drivers are taking different routes for their morning and evening commutes.
Enfield Council’s report on the original monitoring stated that the roads within the QN had experienced a fall of 72% and that the boundary roads had experienced an average rise of 6%. Given this it appears to be the case that traffic on the boundary roads is now lower than before implementation, and it may also be the case that traffic levels within the QN have fallen further. Again, it would be good to have the figures for all the boundary roads to form a clear picture.
It is not easy, if not impossible, to disaggregate the impact of different measures over time on the statistics. Since Enfield’s two QNs were introduced, the ULEZ boundary has stretched to the north circular (thereby including Bowes ward and likely impacting wards to the north) and Haringey has implemented three QNs of their own. One of them, Bounds Green, borders Bowes. It is possible that this has influenced traffic levels in both of Enfield’s schemes, particularly on boundary roads.
Both reports indicate roads where the council intends to carry out additional monitoring and potentially mitigation, albeit without a timeline. This includes a number of roads which lead to the north circular including Brownlow Road and Powys Lane and to Bourne Hill, including Wynchgate and Hoppers Road.
Better Streets Team September 2023