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connaught gardens qn proposals map Nov 2020Click on the map to see a larger version

Leaflets have been dropping through letterboxes on streets in Palmers Green to the east of Green Lanes, as Enfield Council launches a consultation on proposals for the Connaught Gardens Area quieter neighbourhood. As with the Fox Lane and Bowes quieter neighbourhoods, the design uses "low-traffic neighbourhood" principles to stop drivers using the area's residential streets as a cut-through between Green Lanes, the North Circular Road and Hedge Lane, while still allowing access to all addresses by car. However, initially only a small part of the scheme will be implemented; because of uncertainty about funding, largely due to the Covid emergency, the council is unable to make any forecast about when the main work will be done.

Creating the Connaught Gardens Area quieter neighbourhood: Two phases

Phase 1: A small one-way system to start trial operation by the end of 2020

  • Designed to unclog Windsor and Osborne Roads and stop drivers cutting off the corner at the Green Lanes/Hedge Lane junction. One-way operation on stretches of New River Crescent, Lightcliffe Road and Osborne Road, and the whole of Windsor Road.
  • To be implemented before the end of 2020 using experimental traffic orders, which allow schemes to be trialled for between six and eighteen months before a decision is made to make them permanent or remove them. Statutory consultation would take place during the trial.

Phase 2: A more ambitious scheme to create the low-traffic neighbourhood

  • Implementation timescale currently unknown and dependent on TfL funding
  • Measures to prevent drivers using Hazelwood Lane, Oakthorpe Road, Connaught Gardens, Chimes Avenue, Stanley Gardens and Callard Avenue as cut-throughs to access the eastbound North Circular.
  • Hazelwood Lane blocked off at its junction with Green Lanes and Callard Avenue at its junction with the North Circular.
  • Cars able to turn off the North Circular into Oakthorpe Road, but a short one-way stretch will prevent them accessing the A406 from Oakthorpe Road.
  • Point closures with one-way operation in Hazelwood Lane and Chimes Avenue to prevent drivers using Connaught Gardens as a cut-through to the North Circular or Palmers Green town centre.
  • Early engagement will help iron out potential flaws before a six-month trial/formal consultation period begins after funding comes available to implement the scheme.

Dangerous rat-running

Over the last few years there has been growing impatience and frustration expressed at the Palmers Green ward forum about failure to tackle persistent and often dangerous rat-running, particularly along Connaught Gardens, at the eastern end of Hazelwood Lane and in Callard Avenue, Chimes Avenue and Arnold Gardens. Residents in these streets have had their parked cars damaged by drivers turning corners at high speed, sometimes mounting the pavement, and people living in the short and narrow Callard Avenue often find their street blocked by cars waiting for a chance to join the A406.

While the proposals would fix these problems, the residents' impatience will not have been solved, because there is no date for implementation, even a vague one.

In the leaflet the council acknowledge this frustration, but point to "challenges with regard to funding during the current environment". This refers to the fact that because of the pandemic Transport for London has lost most of its income from fares and had to drastically reduce the amount it gives boroughs for Healthy Streets schemes. Currently it is only funding schemes that are linked to the Covid Streetspace programme, and even that depends on emergency money and approval from the Department for Transport.

According to analysis by Green assembly member Caroline Russell, Enfield was due to receive £11,609,429 of funding for Healthy Streets programmes in 2019/20. As a result of the pandemic, this was cancelled and replaced by Covid Streetspace funding (spent mainly on school streets and the Bowes LTN) amounting to £2,250,430 - a shortfall of more than £9 million.

How tube and bus passengers end up paying for London's roads

Many people don't realise that road maintenance in London is mostly paid for by tube and bus fares plus a bit from council tax - boroughs get no money whatever from duty on petrol and diesel and obviously nothing from the entirely mythical "road tax" that some drivers consider gives them special rights - in fact, roads in London are paid for by tube and bus passengers, the majority of whom don't have access to a car. For the time being, following the disastrous fall in fares revenue, TfL is being kept solvent by emergency funding from central government, which has been imposing conditions, such as the increase in the congestion charge and the abolition of free travel for children (it now looks like this idea has been dropped).

Back in the day, when Boris Johnson was Mayor, TfL got a grant from the government to subsidise tube and bus operation, but this was completely phased out by 2018, making London one of the few major world cities that doesn't subsidise its public transport.

Modal filters and point closures

artists impression of point no entry

Artist's impression of a Point Closure/​Point No Entry

Like the Fox Lane and Bowes schemes the Connaught Garden low-traffic neighbourhood is created using "modal filters" to block off one end of a road to cars, but not to pedestrians and bikes, in some cases using bollards, in others using cameras. Additionally, the scheme employs"point closures".

A point closure (sometimes also called "point no entry") is a restriction for motor traffic travelling in one direction at a specific point along a road. It still allows traffic to proceed in the opposite direction. With a point closure, two-way traffic remains on the sections of road either side of it. Unlike a more traditional one-way street, the point closure only restricts motor traffic travelling in one direction, and therefore crossing the point closure, at that precise location.

The benefit of a point closure is that it reduces through traffic while maintaining two-way traffic on both sides of the closure.

The proposed point closures will be marked with ‘No motor vehicle’ signs prohibiting motor traffic, except cycles and emergency services, from crossing them.

A revised one-way system in the north-west corner of the area

one way april 2020

one way december 2020

The temporary one-way scheme that was introduced in April because of (now long completed) road works in Hedge Lane remained in force until recently (and part of still does). However, it was a daily occurrence for drivers to ignore the temporary No Entry signs and eventually many of these were removed by persons unknown. According to the Let's Talk Enfield website, "The current temporary one-way system on Windsor Road, Osborne Road, and the associated sections of Lightcliffe Road and New River Crescent will be maintained until the one-way system (Phase 1) is implemented".

The proposed new scheme covers fewer streets and reverses the flow along Windsor Road and the northern end of Lightcliffe Road. Although it is a trial and could eventually be abandoned (unlikely, since the scheme is likely to be popular with households in Osborne and Windsor Road), it will use permanent signs that will be easier to see and opponents of the scheme won't be able to remove them.

Find out more and comment on the proposals

Details of the scheme and an online form for submitting comments during this informal engagement period are on the Let's Talk Enfield website. Comments can also be sent by post. The deadline is 15 December. Formal statutory consultation will occur during the trial phase, after the infrastructure has been installed. If during the trial changes are made to the design, the trial period will be extended - the maximum allowed is 18 months. When the trial period has finished the council will decide whether to make the scheme permanent or to remove it.

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Adrian Day posted a reply
19 Nov 2020 08:58
Great news. And given the Government's announcements this week we can expect more cycle lanes, more low traffic neighbourhoods and improved public transport in coming years.
PGC Webmaster posted a reply
25 Nov 2020 23:36

A group is currently in the process of being set up to bring together who support the concept of a Connaught Gardens low-traffic neighbouhood - not necessarily exactly as proposed, but definitely something along the same lines.

If you are interested in finding out more, you can email them at .