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As opponents and supporters of active travel measures anxiously await the outcome of a legal case against the Fox Lane LTN, the leader of Enfield Council has approved implementation of recommendations for changes to both the Fox Lane and the Bowes LTNs designed to improve access for people with disabilities. The suggestions of reopening Meadway to through traffic and changing access routes to the Bowes LTN have been ruled out.

children in fox lane quieter neighbourhoodThe leader of Enfield Council has approved proposed minor changes to the Fox Lane low-traffic neighbourhood, but a judge is still considering the case put by a group campaigning for the complete removal of the scheme

On 28th October Enfield Council published a decision by council leader Nesil Caliskan to approve changes to the borough's two low-traffic neighbourhood (LTN)schemes, as recommended in a report prepared by the director of Enfield's Healthy Streets programme. The changes are due to come into effect on 7th November unless they are "called in" by opposition councillors (which, on past form, is probable). A call-in can potentially lead to a change of policy, but is more likely to simply delay implementation for a short time.

The changes that the council leader has given the go-ahead to follow recent consultations and are aimed at improving access for people with disabilities and emergency services vehicles. The main changes are:

  • Installing camera-controlled "modal filters" in place of physical barriers at three junctions along Fox Lane - with Selborne Road, Oakfield Road and the Mall - and, in the Bowes LTN, at the junction of Warwick Road and Maidstone Road. Blue Badge holders and dial-a-ride buses will be allowed to drive past the filters, as will emergency service vehicles, but other drivers will be fined if they ignored the No Motor Vehicles signs.
  • Allowing the same exemptions for Blue Badge holders and dial-a-ride buses at existing camera-controlled filters in the Fox Lane quieter neighbourhood: at the Fox Lane railway bridge, in Meadway, at the junction of Fox Lane and Conway Road. These exemptions are already in force at camera-controlled filters in the Bowes QN.

The report also recommended continued monitoring of traffic volumes on periferal roads, including some where measurements were not carried out earlier. The roads and locations are not listed, though Wynchgate in Southgate is mentioned because of its use by drivers bypassing Winchmore Hill Road and Southgate Circus.

However, with regard to the two potentially most significant possible modifications that were under discussion, there will be no change. For the Fox Lane scheme this was opening up Meadway to through traffic for some or all of the day, while for Bowes it was the suggestion of blocking access by car from the North Circular and instead providing access to Warwick Road and neighbouring streets from the south (Bounds Green Road).

Opponents have their day in court

Cllr Caliskan's decision came only three days after campaigners from the group One Community Against Enfield LTNs put their case to Mr Justice Eyre in the Royal Courts of Justice. Judging by comments on social media, the argument that was taken most seriously by the judge was whether Enfield Council had properly balanced the positive impact of the scheme on some people against the negative impact on others. One Community subsequently issued the following statement:

"Our barrister, Andrew Fraser-Urquhart KC, put our points eloquently and forcefully to the judge, highlighting the failure of Enfield Council to undertake a proper balancing exercise and follow the correct procedure when carrying out their road closure experiment. The judge will now consider the evidence and the arguments made today and will make a decision in the coming weeks."

Other planned changes to LTNs

In addition to the main points mentioned above, the recommendations to the council leader include some more minor changes:

  • Short-term changes at Southgate Circus designed to reduce congestion
  • New advanced warning signage to alert drivers to upcoming modal filters
  • Replacing active speed warning signs on Brownlow Road to reflect the new permanent speed limit of 20mph
  • Upgrading the pedestrian path across Fox Lane railway bridge
  • Relaxing parking restrictions on Fox Lane between the railway bridge and Pellipar Close.
  • New parking restrictions on Cannon Hill and Aldermans Hill to remove identified pinch points and improve traffic flow for buses.

Log in to comment
Darren Edgar posted a reply
03 Nov 2022 10:04
Was an interesting watch. OC case all based on minor technicalities and irregularities really. No true substance for what really amounted to "this is not fair on us".

"Balancing act" was definitely the major issue though. Around 3/4pm in proceedings from memory. Judge seemed to suggested it didn't matter what people's concerns outside the LTN were, their inconvenience wasn't important, BUT he was clear that the Council had a duty to show they had carried out a "balancing act" assessment of concerns outside versus benefits inside. Even if that balance was completely one-sided, fine, it just had to be done and he wasn't sure EBC had demonstrated it had. Speaks to the pre-determination point.
PGC Webmaster posted a reply
10 Nov 2022 00:07
The Enfield Dispatch website has a report by local democracy reporter Simon Allin on both the decision on LTN modifications and the court case (posted before the result of the court case was known):
PGC Webmaster posted a reply
10 Nov 2022 00:31
Stop press news re the legal case is that all the points raised on behalf of One Community Against the Enfield LTNs were rejected by the judge. More detail to follow.
PGC Webmaster posted a reply
17 Nov 2022 00:20
The overview and scrutiny committee will be debating the call-in of the leader's decision re the Fox Lane and Bowes LTNs on Thursday 24th November at 7pm.

Click here to read the documentation.