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Residents living south of Bowes Road, particularly those living in Brownlow Road, Warwick Road and nearby streets, have come together to launch a campaign to prevent traffic in the area building up to the unacceptably high levels that were normal prior to the Covid-19 lockdown. Their proposal is to create a low-traffic neighbourhood to prevent use of roads in the area as a cut-through. The campaign, under the slogan "A Bus Gate for Brownlow?", has won the support of Better Streets for Enfield, the group which campaigns for people-friendly streets across the borough.

"Lots of questions and problems to solve, but they're not insurmountable if our local authorities work together supported by TfL and central government. We hope they'll listen to this cry from the heart of Bowes."

Clare Rogers, Better Streets for Enfield Facebook page

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A bus gate in Bridge Street, Cambridge

People living in Brownlow Road have for many years now had to endure traffic queuing at the lights at the northern end, the queues often extending the whole length of the road. Warwick Road residents have in recent years also been suffering from through traffic using their once quiet residential street.

The campaigners want to create a low-traffic neighbourhood by using bollards or planters to block off streets at strategic points, preventing traffic using any of the streets in the area as a cut-through between Bounds Green Road and the North Circular. A "bus gate" in Brownlow Road would let through only buses and possibly, depending on the technology used, local drivers too.

The measures being called for are entirely in line with the policies announced in recent weeks by the government, Mayor of London and Enfield Council that stress the need for urgent steps to prevent a post-lockdown mass flight from public transport to private cars. This would not only lead to even worse levels of congestion than prevailed before the pandemic, but would increase air pollution and stresses linked to noise and danger that affect health and are associated with worse outcomes for Covid-19 patients.

A bus gate for Brownlow?

bus gate for browlow flyerDear neighbours,

We're asking for an emergency bus gate on Brownlow Road, and closures on Warwick & some side roads, to turn Bounds Green into a low traffic neighbourhood.

Why?

Before lockdown, Brownlow Road carried 10,000 vehicles a day, and Warwick 5,000, often clogging up the entire road. Most of these were simply cutting a corner from the A406. They saved a few minutes, but we paid the price. Toxic levels of pollution put our lives at risk, and the daily dose of heavy traffic, noise and foul air put people off walking, cycling or socialising on the street. We don't want to go back.

Low traffic benefits us all. We've all valued the cleaner air, quieter streets, and seen a massive rise in people of all ages cycling both for exercise and essential journeys.

Why now?

With public transport capacity reduced, traffic will likely return with a vengeance. For our roads to cope, we need to help people to carry on walking and cycling short journeys, and buses need to flow. With a bus gate, Brownlow Road can be a healthy, pleasant street both for residents and people passing, like families on the school run. Safe streets, exercise and clean air keep us healthy, reducing pressure on our NHS.

The government has provided funding to make these changes.

How does it work?

A low traffic neighbourhood is a residential area with some strategic road closures (like bollards or planters) to prevent through traffic. A bus gate is a point that prevents all through traffic except buses, cycles and emergency services. Every street, including Brownlow, will still be accessible by vehicles. These measures simply prevent overspill from nearby A-roads, keeping our residential roads safe and pleasant.

Enfield Council is asking residents what to include in its "Covid-19 Streetspace Plan". We need your support to ensure Brownlow, and all of Bounds Green will benefit.

Support us / have your say:

This flyer was designed by local residents who want a low traffic Bounds Green.

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