Width restrictions planned for Connaught Gardens area
27 Mar 2017 14:13
Basil Clarke Topic Author
Enfield Council's plan to install width restrictions on three roads that fall within the proposed Connaught Gardens Quieter Neighbourhood has been criticised by a group which campaigns for residential streets to be made more people-friendly. Members of the public have only until Wednesday 29th March to object to the plans.
The council is planning to install the width restrictions at the northern ends of Connaught Gardens and Munster Gardens (ie close to their junctions with Hedge Lane), and also at the point where Hazelwood Lane crosses the New River. They are intended to prevent lorries driving through the future Quieter Neighbourhood to reach the North Circular Road. There is already a width restriction where Oakthorpe Road crosses the New River.
Pre-empting the Quieter Neighbourhoods consultation
Better Streets for Enfield are, of course, in favour of keeping lorries out of this residential area, but they have two objections to the plan. The first is that engagement with the public about the Connaught Gardens Quieter Neighbourhood is still in the initial phase (the deadline for comments is Friday 31st March). The idea is supposed to be to devise a set of measures that will work as an integrated whole to improve conditions for residents, but by doing this work now, Enfield Council will be pre-empting the future development of this holistic approach.
The second objection is that width restrictions present a danger for cyclists. Clare Rogers of Better Streets for Enfield says "They are a known hazard for cycling, causing road users to share a narrow space and often affecting driver behaviour to intimidate cycists and speed up to get through the restriction first. Even for an experienced cyclist who takes primary position, this behaviour is intimidating. For a less experienced or child cyclist it is even more dangerous.
"Even width restrictions that allow passage for cycles near the kerb are not ideal, as cycles are then pushed into secondary position and have to wait to regain primary position or end up in the door zone."
Rat-running along Connaught Gardens
In any case, the width restrictions will do little or nothing to alleviate the main problem affecting the area - high frequency rat running along Connaught Gardens, turning right into Hazelwood Lane then accessing the North Circular via Arnold Gardens or Callard Avenue. The vehicles involved are cars, not lorries, and the problem is best fixed by changes nearer to the North Circular rather than at the Hedge Lane end.
Another big problem is the amount of through traffic using Hazelwood Lane. A width restriction would not stop cars go right past Hazelwood School, exposing pupils to danger and polluted air. Better Streets would like to see an effective measure to reduce traffic, such as a ban on cars (except residents) during school hours. Otherwise heavy traffic will continue to discourage parents and students from walking or cycling to school.
What is proposed?
Information about the plans was published in local papers earlier this month (see the box below).
HAZELWOOD LANE N13 AND MUNSTER GARDENS N13 — PROPOSED WIDTH RESTRICTIONS WITH ASSOCIATED "AT ANY TIME" WAITING RESTRICTIONS
NEW DISABLED PERSONS' PARKING PLACES — CONNAUGHT GARDENS N13 and CRESCENT WEST EN4
REVOKED DISABLED PERSONS PARKING PLACES — CLIVE ROAD EN1, CONNAUGHT GARDENS N13, GORDON ROAD EN2, HASELBURY ROAD N18, HEDGE LANE N13, SHELDON ROAD N18 and TITCHFIELD ROAD EN3
Further information may be obtained from Traffic and Transportation, telephone number 020-8379 3632.
1. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Council of the London Borough of Enfield propose to make the Enfield (Prescribed Route) (No.') Traffic Order 201*, the Enfield (Free Parking Places) (Disabled Persons) (No. ') Order 201' and the Enfield (Waiting and Loading Restriction) (Amendment No. ') Order 201' under sections 6 and 124 of and Part IV of Schedule 9 to the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, as amended.
2. The general effect of the Orders will be to -
(a) introduce 2.3 metre (7 feet 6 inches) width restrictions in Connaught Gardens N13 south-west of its junction with Hedge Lane N13;
(b) introduce 2.3 metre (7 feet 6 inches) width restrictions in Hazelwood Lane N13 on the New River bridge located between Nos. 99 and 101 Hazelwood Lane N13;
(c) introduce 2.3 metre (7 feet 6 inches) width restrictions in Munster Gardens N13 south-west of its junction with Hedge Lane N13;
(d) introduce "at any time" waiting restrictions in the vicinity of the above proposed width restrictions in Connaught Gardens N13, Hazelwood Lane N13 and Munster Gardens N13;
(e) designate disabled persons' parking places in Connaught Gardens N13 and Crescent West EN4 in which disabled persons' vehicles which display a valid disabled person's badge Blue Badge") in the relevant position, issued by any local authority, may be left therein; and
4. A copy of the proposed Orders, a map indicating the locations and effects of the proposed Orders, of the Council's statement of reasons for proposing to make the proposed Orders and other relevant documents can be inspected at the Reception Desk, the Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, Middlesex, EN1 3XD during normal office hours on Mondays to Fridays inclusive.
5. Anybody wishing to object to the proposed Orders, or make any other representations in respect of the Orders, should send a statement in writing to that effect, and in the case of an objector stating the grounds thereof, to the Head of Traffic anc Transportation, the Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, Middlesex EN1 3XD, quoting the reference TG52/1340, by 29 March 2017 or by e-mail to Note: Should you wish to discuss the proposals in more detail with a Council officer, please ring the above-mentioned telephone number to arrange a mutually convenient time.
6. Under the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985, any letter you write to the Council in response to this Notice may, upon written request, be made available to the press and to the public, who would be entitled to take copies of it if they so wished.
Dated 5 March 2017
Width restrictions planned for Connaught Gardens area
27 Mar 2017 22:26
This article has provoked an interesting discussion on Facebook (the most recent comment is at www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1127567654056433&id=204493786363829&comment_id=1127611524052046&reply_comment_id=1127762647370267 ).
I hate the way you can't read all the comments at once on Facebook (in fact, I hate almost everything about Facebook, but it's a way of getting people to read the website articles), so I've copied over the comments to this post. If you have comments on the comments, bear in mind that the people who wrote them may not be aware of your contribution.
Discussion about the way the width restrictions consultation was handled by the council:
I find this frustrating as residents were initially consulted but there has been no follow up and there is an assumption people will see notices in the local paper. Having a width restriction at the top of Connaught gardens is not the answer to the problem
Hi Nicola - do feed back your opinion to for this particular issue by Wednesday this week when the consultation closes. As for the wider issues in the neighbourhood, the council tell me they have kept hold of all the data from the original consultation and that will feed into the Quieter Neighbourhoods design in the near future. Meanwhile it's really important to fill in the perception survey for your area (before Friday - you should have had a leaflet through your door about this...?). The link to the survey and suggestions about completing it are here: betterstreets.co.uk/do-you-want-a-quieter.../
Thanks Clare Rogers I have emailed about the road narrowing and found the current consultation for quieter neighbourhood. I didn't receive anything through the door about it so I'm glad i still had time to feedback.
Clare Rogers Yes, odd, I'm not sure we received the flyers on our street either. Please do encourage your neighbours to respond too! Feels like a bit of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
Nicola Hutchinson Yes I really hope something good will come out of it.
Discussion about how to cater for people riding bikes on our roads
I think that the width restrictions are a very good idea as this will restrict lorry traffic in local roads and also slow people down. Clare Rogers' comment about cyclists is ridiculous as cyclists and car drivers can go through one at a time.
Tony, this is not my comment, it's the response from London Cycling Campaign who have years of experience of what makes a street dangerous or not for cycling on. Have you cycled on roads around here? Pinch points are a well-known danger to anyone who's tried to cycle to work or school in this country. Every day I cycle my daughter to school on the tandem, I dread the pinch points created by pedestrian refuges, because unless I ride assertively in the middle of the lane (not always possible), drivers will often try to overtake me illegally and dangerously in a very narrow space. Roads have got to work for all users, not just drivers, and Enfield's roads need to encourage more people of all ages and abilities to feel ok riding a bike. Width restrictions won't do that. I'm all for restricting lorries on residential streets and slowing traffic, but there are better ways to achieve that.
If a way can be found to achieve reduction in lorries, reduce speeds around schools to say 20mph and keep all parties (pedestrians, cyclists and car drivers) safe without restricting car driving or parking in any road then I am all for the idea. Some of the ideas I have seen in the quieter neighbourhood scheme have been either completely ridiculous. All parties must be catered for in rough proportion to those that use the roads and pavements.
Yes, all road users need to be catered for, i agree. At the moment those cycling are no space and safety, and motor traffic rules the road. What we need is safe space for the more vulnerable road users - people on bikes - which will mean restricting car driving and parking to some extent to redress the balance. But as more people feel safe to cycle short journeys, e.g. to school, that frees up space for cars. So everyone wins. The Netherlands has given up loads of road space for safe cycling, and as a result it's one of the nicest countries in the world to drive in.
I said that all road users must be catered for in proportion to the amount each user uses the road. Cycles are a minority and cars, pedestrians and buses are a majority so the balance should be redressed in those proportions. Right now the roads are being redressed to cyclists needs who are the minority with everyone else's needs disregarded. From what I can see about 20-25% of the road space is being given to cyclists and if I remember correctly the council said that at best only 5% of users will be cyclists once (if) cycling ever catches on. Right now it is less than 1%. The scheme currently being put in place is even more stupid than I originally imagined when I saw the plans. This is by far the biggest waste of money that Enfield has ever done and someone should be jailed for such incompetence. Before the cycle lanes started to be installed I was beginning to come to terms with the fact that the scheme was going to happen and to wait and see to be proved wrong but now that I see what is happening I am totally shocked at the blatant waste of money, especially by a council that has such a large debt but I guess this scheme explains the debt as it seems the council does not know how to spend the people's money correctly.
Tony, have you ever been to Europe...? What the council are doing is dragging Enfield out of the dark ages! We are completely car-centric in this country and we allow no space for anything but motor vehicles on our roads. So of course there's only a tiny minority of people cycling on Enfield's roads. In cycle-friendly cities in Holland, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, etc etc (ever been to any of those places?) you will find far more civilised streets, because they have turned their back on our car-centric, unhealthy, unfair, intimidating and people-unfriendly street model. Back in the 70s those countries were as car-dominated as us, but unlike us, they saw sense. Now the majority of their young people cycle to school, they live healthier lives, cost their health services less money, and come top of the charts in international well-being surveys. Getting our roads to work more like theirs is far from being a waste of money - it's a public health investment. Anything less than what they are doing would be wasteful, negligent and frankly quite stupid, to borrow your terminology.