Share this article share on facebook icon share on twitter icon click here to go to print-friendly version of article

The report on trial operation of the Fox Lane LTN has now been published. Its recommendation to the leader of Enfield Council is that she should sign off making the scheme permanent in its current form. However, the report also states that the council intend to look at potential changes to the scheme that respond to issues which emerged from the consultation and the data collected during the trial (see the box for a summary of these changes).

Potential changes to the Fox Lane scheme*

  • The council will look at measures to improve access - possibly involving exemptions - for residents with disabilities and those with caring responsibilities
  • In the short term, small-scale changes to the Southgate Circus roundabout to improve traffic flow (see below) with the possibility of more radical changes in the longer term, but these would require significant investment / partnership with TfL
  • Consulting with residents on possible changes to the modal filter in the Meadway - reducing its operating hours or removing it entirely
  • Replacement of bollards at the end of the Mall and Selborne Road by camera-controlled filters.

*Abridged and simplified. See Paragraph 6 of the main report for the full official wording

For a quick summary of the report, see this article on the Enfield Dispatch website.

As happened with the Bowes LTN, if the leader decides in favour of the making the scheme permanent, opposition councillors will almost certainly "call in" her decision and the call-in will be debated by the scrutiny committee, who could potentially send it back to her for further consideration or refer it to full council.

The main part of the report details the reasons for and history of the trial and summarises the results of consultations with stakeholder organisations and the public, monitoring of changes in traffic levels inside and outside the LTN area, changes in the amount of cycling and walking, noise levels and air pollution and other measurements. More details of these are provided in annexes to the report.

Traffic volumes inside and around the LTN

fox lane ltn differences in 24hr traffic volumes700pxBefore and after: differences in 24-hour traffic volumes (click on the map to enlarge)

Traffic volumes were measured using automated traffic counts before and during the trial. The report unsurprisingly shows very sharp drops for most roads within the LTN and slight increases in a few, due to traffic rerouting within the LTN. As for roads that were monitored outside the LTN, there were reductions on some (notably on Waterfall Road, because it is no longer possible to cut through the Mall), but increases on High Street, the Bourne/Bourne Hill, Winchmore Hill Road, Green Lanes and Aldermans Hill. However, five LTN roads have seen reductions in traffic which are much higher than the biggest increase on main roads: for both Meadway and Fox Lane the reduction was in excess of 4000 vehicles per day, while the steepest increase was 1879 on High Street.

The effect on buses

More traffic on main roads surrounding the LTN has increased average bus journey times on some routes and at some times of day or week. Six routes have delays of more than a minute, the longest just over three minutes:

  • W9 westbound (137 seconds in AM peak)
  • 121 northbound (98 seconds in PM peak, 103 seconds on Saturday)
  • 298 northbound (61 seconds in PM peak, 159 seconds on Saturday)
  • 299 northbound (72 seconds in PM peak, 116 seconds on Saturday)
  • W6 westbound (111 seconds in PM peak, 187 seconds on Saturday)
  • 329 southbound (70 seconds on Saturday)
  • W6 eastbound (68 seconds on Saturday).

Ironically, the only route that runs through the LTN, the W9, is among the worst affected, because of problems with the Southgate Circus roundabout.

In order to speed up buses the council is considering removing some kerbside parking at pinchpoints in Aldermans Hill and Cannon Hill, installing fixed bus stops instead of hail and ride in Fox Lane and Hedge Lane (which also improves accessibility), and looking at traffic light timings.

Southgate Circus's heritage roundabout

A particular source of congestion in peak hours is Southgate's rather unusual double roundabout, and the council commissioned a specialist firm to look at ways of improving traffic flow there. Using historic and recent Trafficmaster data from satnav and smartphones in cars to get data about volumes and speeds and video footage to observe traffic behaviour, they concluded that:

"The issues that currently cause congestion existed previously to the implementation of the Fox Lane Quieter Neighbourhood scheme, however they appear to have been exacerbated by a slight variation in traffic flow, which is to be expected given the network operated with queueing already."

Their suggested short-term and longer-term changes are shown below.

Recommended short-term and long-term interventions at Southgate Circus

southgate circus recommended interventions 636pxClick on map to enlarge

Short Term

ST1 — Keep clear markings to be introduced onto the circulatory at the points where The Bourne and High Street enter the roundabout This will likely keep the circulatory clear for traffic in the offside lanes to enter the roundabout and use the inside Lanes of the circulatory when blocking back occurs.

ST2 —There are currently two pedestrian signalised crossings on Chase Side. These have maximum green times to traffic set at 20 seconds, meaning that when permanently demanded (likely in the peak periods) they disrupt traffic flow regularly. We would recommend increasing this maximum green time to 30 seconds. It is important to note that this increase would slightly increase pedestrian wait times.

ST3, 4, & 5 — These measures all attempt to reduce friction on the southbound High Street exit. Extending the right turn pocket into Crown Lane would reduce instances of blocking back, as would introducing northbound keep clear markings. Although we did not notice too many instances of disruptive parking and loading in this area, double yellow lines and double blips would also assist in smoothing the traffic flow.

Medium to Long Term

LT1 — We would recommend investigating if there are any measures that could be bought in along the length of Chase Side up to the roundabout with Chase Way. The carriageway appears narrow in places, and is constrained by parking and loading.

LT2 — Bringing the two crossings onto UTC control would better ensure they optimise their cycle time based on traffic demand, and that the green offsets are better synchronised, reducing stops as traffic travels away from Southgate Circus.

LT3 — The junction of Crown Lane with High Street is a priority junction with heavy flows in and out of it It appears as if both Crown Lane and Burleigh Gardens are partially used as "rat runs" by through traffic to avoid Chase Side. We would recommend further review work into this small section of the network with a view to collating supporting surveys and making recommendations to reduce the pressure on the Crown Lane / High Street junction — which is having a knock-on effect to Southgate Circus.


Log in to comment

PGC Webmaster's Avatar
PGC Webmaster posted a reply #6374 09 Feb 2022 19:36
Council leader Nesil Caliskan signed off making the Fox Lane scheme permanent on 7th February. However, if seven or more councillors apply for the decision to be "called in" by 14th February, it will be debated by the scrutiny committee, who have the power to send it back to her for reconsideration or to send it to full council for reconsideration.
Adrian Day's Avatar
Adrian Day posted a reply #6377 10 Feb 2022 16:50
This is great news. Now we need to 'kick on' and end high traffic neighbourhoods throughout Enfield