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The latest information on the Cycle Enfield website about Enfield Council's Quieter Neighbourhoods programme outlines an updated strategy, which envisages schemes eventually covering the entire borough. It introduces the concept of "low-traffic neighbourhoods" and lists new planned QNs to be created during phases 2 to 4 of the programme, including, for the first time, a scheme in Bowes ward west of Green Lanes.

Revised proposals for the Fox Lane and Connaught Gardens schemes, which are included in phase 1, will be revealed at public events in, respectively, "late summer 2019" and "early Autumn 2019".

quieter neighbourhoods photo"Ambitious vision"

The update on Quieter Neighbourhoods was published on the main Quieter Neighbourhoods page of the Cycle Enfield website in early August. It outlines an "ambitious vision to see Quieter Neighbourhoods across the borough", requiring a "long-term commitment and programme of work" and aligned with the Mayor of London's Transport Strategy 2018, which aims to achieve 80 per cent of trips by walking, cycling or public transport by 2041. The page lists eight QNs, to be implemented in four phases (see the table further down the page), which should be "substantially delivered" by 2022, to be followed by further schemes.

The remainder of this article summarises and comments on some of the information on the web page, but is not comprehensive and no substitute for reading the full update.

"Low-traffic neighbourhoods"

The introductory overview states that "The ambition of the Council is to adopt a ‘Low Traffic Neighbourhood’ approach, where ‘through’ motor vehicle traffic is discouraged or removed. Individual area feasibility studies will explore the measures that could be considered." The aims of this approach include improving the liveability, amenity and safety of Enfield neighbourhoods, and making it possible for people to walk and cycle safely from their front door to connect with public transport options and/or major walking and cycling routes.

The choice of the phrase "low-traffic neighbourhood" is significant, as this is the term used to describe a concept developed jointly by campaigning groups London Living Streets and the London Cycling Campaign in 2018. In such a neighbourhood it is possible to drive to or from every address, but strategically placed "filters" (typically, bollards) make it impossible to cut through the neighbourhood by car. The filters do not impede people on foot or riding bikes. Several low-traffic neighbourhoods have been created in Waltham Forest and have transformed once noisy and hazardous streets into zones of calm and peace.

Whether or not this is how Enfield Council are using the term is unclear. Two of the schemes in Phase 1 - the recently implemented Fernleigh Road measures and the published proposals for Connaught Gardens - both allow traffic to drive through the areas. In particular, the Connaught Gardens scheme does absolutely nothing to tackle high volume rat-running between Hedge Lane and the North Circular along Connaught Gardens, Hazelwood Lane, Chimes Avenue, Arnold Gardens and Callard Avenue. That said, after the failure of the "planters" scheme to reduce traffic volumes and speeds, quieter streets campaigners are eagerly awaiting the new proposals for the Fox Lane neighbourhood, anticipating that they will create a true LTN. These proposals are due to be unveiled in "late summer".


Individual QN schemes will be developed and implemented in six (or seven) stages. Phase 1 schemes will already have passed through some stages (see the table).

  • Stage 1 – ask residents to share their ideas on problems and potential solutions in their area. 
  • Stage 2 – the Council will review these ideas and develop some plans. 
  • Stage 3 – the Council will host a public event to explain the plans and provide an opportunity for residents to comment. 
  • Stage 4 – The Council will then conduct a further review of the plans. 
  • Stage 5 – A period of statutory consultation and/or a trial will take place. 
  • Stage 6 – Decisions and implementation of the plans in a particular area.  
  • Stage 7 – where appropriate, monitor and review post implementation.

The following table summarises scheduling information derived from the Quieter Neighbourhoods web page. (If the table does not display properly, click here.)

Stages  Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4
  Fox Lane Connaught Gardens Fernleigh Rd Bowes Bush Hill Rd Firs Lane Edmonton A1010 North
1 - resident input       Late Summer 2019 Late Summer 2019 Late Summer 2019 Spring 2020 Autumn 2020
2 - plans developed Currently              
3 - public event and feedback Late Summer 2019 Early Autumn 2019            
4 - further review                
5 - statutory consultation and/or trial                
6 - decide and implement     End 2019          
7 - monitor and review                

Individual QNs

Connaught Gardens: "A series of initial width restrictions have already been implemented in this area, but a further series of measures were originally proposed. These have been reviewed in light of the Fox Lane experiences. This project will continue at Stage 3, which is currently scheduled for early Autumn 2019."

The "further measures" are presumably those shown on the map in this September 2017 report. The council has never published the responses to the 2017 consultation. So far only the two width restrictions at the Hedge Lane ends of Connaught Gardens and Munster gardens have been implemented, to block access to HGVs, but most rat-running is done by cars, not lorries. The one-way scheme in the top right-hand corner of the map was probably opposed by residents concerned that traffic would be diverted onto their streets (eg Park Avenue). Hopefully, the review that is referred to will come up with a more effective scheme to tackle the chronic rat-running through this area.

Fernleigh Road: As reported on Palmers Green Community in August 2018 and on the Cycle Enfield website, the Fernleigh Road proposals were significantly watered down following the consultation. The work has been complete for several months, but one aspect of it, the point no entry in Stonard Road, is still being trialled. A decision is expected in December.

Bowes: "Although in phase 2, a series of initial steps have already been taken for the Bowes area, which include a width restriction on Warwick Road and Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ proposals). In addition, a further study is in progress which is a collaboration between TfL, Enfield and Harringay, which is focussed on Palmerston Road, but is considering the wider area. The Quieter Neighbourhood work will build on this work and consider the feasibility of introducing low traffic neighbourhood zones within the area. Whilst a series of issues are already well known, in order to ensure everyone in the community has the opportunity to comment, we will conduct Stage 1 of this project which is expected late Summer 2019. The programme will then be developed further."

The part of Bowes ward west of Green Lanes has not previously been included in any quieter neighbourhood schemes, but it is clear from ward forum meetings that there is great concern about traffic levels. Warwick Road and Brownlow Road are particularly affected. A new width restriction has solved the problem of HGVs using Warwick Road as a cut-through, but it is still very busy with cars. Brownlow Road is horrendously busy with regular long tailbacks from the lights at the North Circular. Palmerston Road is theoretically a "quietway" for cycles, but is anything but quiet.

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PGC Webmaster's Avatar
PGC Webmaster posted a reply #4781 29 Aug 2019 22:57
A news item about Quieter Neighbourhoods was published on the Enfield Council website under the title "Low Traffic Neighbourhoods plan unveiled". This news item uses the term "Low Traffic Neighbourhoods" throughout and does not use the term "Quieter Neighbourhood" at all.

Residents will be at the heart of plans to make Enfield’s streets quieter and safer says the Council.

Enfield Council wants the vast majority of journeys in the borough to be made on foot, by bike, or by public transport and is working with residents to make their streets quieter and safer by rolling out Low Traffic Neighbourhoods.

These areas will be funded by the Mayor of London, and would help support the Mayor’s Transport Strategy 2018, which aims to achieve 80% of trips by walking, cycling or public transport by 2041.

Enfield Council’s Deputy Leader, and Chair of the Council’s Climate Change Taskforce, Cllr Ian Barnes, said: “Enfield Council is committed to introducing Low Traffic Neighbourhoods – we have a clear vision for the future where residential streets are rescued from high levels of speeding traffic cutting through to shave a few seconds of their journeys.

“We will be working with residents to help return these streets to the people who live there, creating places where people of all ages can walk, cycle and play without fear of speeding rat-runners and once again conversations can be heard with neighbours over the garden fence

“The first phases of this scheme includes areas in all four corners of the borough and we’ll gather residents views on how we can best achieve our aims.

"This will be an opportunity to help shape individual area projects and contribute towards a borough wide vision that is designed to create a better future for the generations that will follow.

“The Science and Technology Select Committee has said that people will have to get out of their cars if the UK is to meet its climate change targets so we want residents to leave their vehicles at home and start using public transport as well as making more trips through sustainable modes of transport such as walking and cycling.

“Our approach to transport policy is an essential part of our overall response to the climate emergency that has been declared.

"This is why Low Traffic Neighbourhoods have become centre stage for Enfield Council as this administration fights the existential crisis facing our planet"

Additional areas of the borough will be added as work progresses. Each Low Traffic Neighbourhood will aim to reduce or preferably remove through traffic from residential streets not designed to carry high volumes of motor traffic.

They will also improve residents’ quality of life by reducing road danger, enabling more walking and cycling and create streets that are not dominated by ‘rat running’ traffic.

In the vast majority of areas, the Council will conduct trials so that residents can experience first hand the changes, before final decisions are made. Residents and local business owners will have the opportunity to help shape the plans.
Neil Littman's Avatar
Neil Littman posted a reply #4782 01 Sep 2019 21:21
There is a very simple solution to these issues. I think it likely that a traffic count (and I know this has been done already) would determine that the busiest time of day for vehicles in these areas is rush hour or school run in the morning and the same at the other end of the day. In the evening many of these roads are very quiet apart from the odd boy-racers.

There is a scheme in Kentish Town that has operated for years that is remarkably simple. At certain times of day (7-10am) (3-5.30pm) no vehicles are allowed to travel through certain points. This is recorded on camera and anybody going through at those times receives a ticket. Outside those times traffic is free to use the area and there are no restrictions for emergency vehicles. The zones operate slightly differently depending on which direction you are travelling so this would not affect trade vehicles or deliveries.

It did take some time for the residents to get used to the system but it does work and it raised revenue for the council. However I can imagine that might be a contentious matter...
Basil Clarke's Avatar
Basil Clarke posted a reply #4783 02 Sep 2019 00:07

Neil Littman wrote: There is a very simple solution to these issues. I think it likely that a traffic count (and I know this has been done already) would determine that the busiest time of day for vehicles in these areas is rush hour or school run in the morning and the same at the other end of the day. In the evening many of these roads are very quiet apart from the odd boy-racers.

Neil thinks it's "likely" that many of these roads are very quiet at other times!!! Have you ever walked along them? They are busy all day and well into the evening, and in the middle of the night people drive along at up to 90mph.

These are not B. Johnson-like statements made up on the spot without a jot of evidence. I have the complete traffic count and data set for the measurements taken on all roads in the QN area - a weeks' worth of measurements for multiple points in each street. This is the data set that I used to derive the tables in this earlier article . I did think of uploading them to the website, but there around 35 files and they're not very user friendly.

Here are the traffic counts and 80% speeds for a "virtual day" along Old Park Road. The number of vehicles per hour and the speeds below which 80 per cent of cars were travelling and above which 20 per cent of cars were travelling (ie in most cases breaking the law)

There is no peace and quiet between 6am and midnight, but unlike Grovelands Road during the week when the measurements were made no cars were moving at 90mph - the highest speed was a "mere" 65.5mph in a 30mph zone, and during the week two more cars were recorded at 65mph and a further car at between 60 and 64. So Neil's "very simple solution" simply wouldn't work. I wonder if he has a simple solution to the Irish Backstop?
Adrian Day's Avatar
Adrian Day posted a reply #4784 02 Sep 2019 11:47
Agree with Basil. I invite Neil to stand in Old Park Road for an hour during the day and count the heavy lorries, vans and cars speeding down a residential street bringing noise, danger, pollution and disturbance.
David Eden's Avatar
David Eden posted a reply #4785 02 Sep 2019 17:25
A "residents only" Neil system 7am-7pm looks like it would do the trick fine though. Entry/exit cameras that calculate average speed too.

Sadly it would never happen as the Council/Police have shown reluctance to ever install speed cameras (e.g. Alderman's Hill) in the past.
Karl Brown's Avatar
Karl Brown posted a reply #4786 02 Sep 2019 19:45
Outside of anything else, if traffic is blocked during the busiest times, and hence by implication travellers find alternate means, what is the rationale to open up again during the apparent quiet times?
David Eden's Avatar
David Eden posted a reply #4789 04 Sep 2019 14:24
Balance of inconvenience for residents?
Karl Brown's Avatar
Karl Brown posted a reply #4790 10 Sep 2019 15:38
Quite a few years since, and after attending couple of specialist seminars, I flagged both here, in the local press and to some local politicians, the impending wave of air pollution related risks that would eventually break. Break they did and now, three lost court cases later, we still wait HMG’s response to protect our health from this now widely acknowledged harm.

Long since in the background but gaining traction is a partner in health-crime, noise. And guess what.

There are two main worries: the first, the large one-off noise such as aeroplanes, leaf blowers, the motor cycle with added affect exhaust and such. Above certain levels the damage to hearing is irreversible, but of equal concern is the change to metabolisms leading to increased blood sugar levels and a diabetes risk, one seen as higher than that due to air pollution; the second, effectively the baseload noise in cities, is just there and mostly down to traffic. We may get used to it but it makes it no less dangerous.

Noise is linked through research to increased levels of belly fat (not obesity) thought to be a stress related outcome of increased cortisol levels. An all London piece of research over 25 years found clear and significantly higher levels of death and stroke risk in noisier postcodes.

Switzerland, and now France, has deployed noise radars to catch the noisiest vehicles, albeit that doesn’t address the base level, always-there, traffic noise.

In numbers, 80% of noise pollution is down to traffic, 40% of the EU population is exposed to traffic noise at above WHO recommended levels and the trail then goes to sleep problems, anxiety, stress, diabetes, poorer work and school performance, increased blood pressure and more.

“Quieter Neighbourhoods” may have been superseded by” Low Traffic Neighbourhoods” in the terminology, but one outcome of both should be the same – less traffic noise and so better health. Just like secondary smoke from smokers, that car is doing silent harm to others. Whatever is implemented locally has taken an inordinate amount of time from the first local authority communication, it can’t come soon enough.