A Community Network for Bowes Park and Bounds Green
Letter from LBE traffic specialist today
As you may already know, Thames Water are currently working in Warwick Road as part of their lead pipe replacement programme. As part of these works, Warwick Road will be closed from next Thursday between the North Circular and Wakefield Road for around three weeks, with access for residents only. Further closures will follow on as the works roll down Warwick Road, as indicated on the attached plan.
These works provide us with the opportunity to measure the impact of the closure on queues and bus journey times on Brownlow Road and we are currently arranging for a number of surveys to be carried out. This information could be invaluable in our discussions with TfL, particularly if it shows that Brownlow Road is not severely impacted.
That's the first thing. When it rains it pours. The bigger picture is that two years after the big community meeting ended up suggesting that we try banning right hand turns onto the NCR to dissuade rat runners, we still do not have permission from TFL to do so. Quite the contrary. Without going into detail of the many many many letters sent/meetings organised by Enfield Council to try to persuade TFL - all costing the taxpayer a pretty penny - things remain a long ways from being resolved. Basically because TFL fears that taking traffic off Warwick will put more traffic at the Brownlow/NCR junction.
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Alan, the most recent community meeting held on 13th September 2013 (less than 12 months ago) did not agree to ban the right turn from Warwick Road onto the North Circular. Local residents were united in their appreciation that such a move would impact York Road severely and therefore renders this option on its own unacceptable to local residents.
Warwick Road residents believe they are suffering from increased traffic, including lorries, it needs to be confirmed that this is a current issue today now that time has allowed changes in behaviour that show the impact of the works to the North Circular and traffic calming measures. I remain to be convinced that Warwick is as congested today as it was 6 months ago. As a local resident I have not seen significant congestion for some time.
None of the traffic flow changes that have been proposed is an ideal solution and all involve displacing traffic directly from Warwick Road onto York Road. It was broadly agreed at the meeting that displacing the problem in this way was not acceptable.
The ‘least worst’ option discussed at the meeting was 'Option 3', the right turn ban from Warwick Road onto the North Circular.
As Option 3 has a significant dis-benefit to residents of York Road, this must be mitigated if the scheme were to be implemented.
The only effective mitigating measure is a left turn ban from York Road onto Brownlow Road.
The conclusion of the meeting was that, if any traffic measure were to be adopted, it would only be ‘Option 3 with additional modifications’, i.e. including the left turn ban from York Road onto Brownlow Road. The two measures would need to be implemented together. However before such a drastic move were to be implemented it would need to be established on the basis of data that it was required and a further consultation initiated following the introduction of traffic calming measures and now that the impact of the North Circular scheme has had chance to have an effect.
Hi Matt! I'm not sure about your dates...but agree with most of everything else you write
Certainly that efforts to improve the situation on Warwick would have to be accompanied by measures ensuring that York doesn't suffer as result. Or as you put it, there was indeed a consensus on what became known as Option 3 with modifications. Don't think I ever said the contrary? Certainly haven't "forgotten".
So no worries on that score. But for the moment it is still a moot point. I can't come close to describing the obstacles that TFL has and continues to set in our way. Meaning we're not being allowed to do much of anything at present. Possibly a small test on a partial aspect but...will specify more once they're clear.
I would be interested in seeing the results of closing the bottom part of Warwick Road temporarily to through traffic. My guess is that it will confirm TfL's fears about diverting even more traffic on to Brownlow Road. My perception is that Brownlow Road traffic in the evening peak already tails back from the North Circular to well beyond York Road and presumably the fear is that even a small amount more extra traffic would lead to something close to gridlock, as traffic blocks up to Bounds Green tube station, plus on York Road. Anyway, it's pleasing to see that the Council plans to collect some actual data in order to see what the impact will be in real life.
I would have thought that any assessment of congestion around Warwick Road has to wait until all the local schools are back. Roads being quieter than usual around certain times of day during the summer holidays is not surprising. Wait until all the parents are driving their kids to school - preferably on a wet day - then assess congestion. For example, Highworth Road is a quiet option onto the A406 (to turn left) during the holidays, but during termtime non-parent commuters will naturally shift onto Warwick as they know Highworth is a nightmare at drop-off and pickup times. Just a thought.
The closure of Warwick Road will be a key opportunity in providing the data. What was agreed at the meeting last September was something had to be done and the 'least bad' option would be viable. Why should a previously quiet road now be a bottleneck and rat run? It was agreed in subsequent correspondence that the banned right turn could begin on a trial basis. If you refer to the conclusion of the engineers report on the modelling done earlier this year it sates that some optimisation of the junction would alleviate any knock on to other roads.
'However, the principle of junction optimisation appears worth further consideration, and could
be supported by either the banning of traffic turning right from Warwick Road to the A406 or
measures to introduce a partial re-routing of traffic (which would support local residents current
use/need to use Warwick Road.'
I am new to this forum, but my child has recently started full time at Bowes Primary School and I (like I see many other parents on this site) am concerned about the obvious dangers to crossing Warwick Road with small children whilst walking to and from school.
I see from your blog posts and meetings' re-caps, correspondence with the council & TFL, that this is clearly not a new debate and one that could take some time to resolve. However, what I would like to know is whether there's been any discussion and council request on a basic level to i. add some school awareness signs to Warwick road and York Rd - as currently there are none. and ii. has there been any response from the council to put a Zebra crossing on Warwick Rd?
I have contacted the school to see if anyone is driving this forward and have so far been unsuccessful at getting through to someone at the council.
I'd appreciate any background information or advice you can offer,
Hi Clare, nice to meet you. There was discussion a few years ago about a zebra crossing on Warwick. I'm intrigued by your suggestion of reviving it and will ask officers. Otherwise, when you say school awareness signs, do you mean the signs showing silhouettes of little kids and admonishing drivers to be cautious? Cuz that is a good idea!
thanks for the quick response, Alan. And yes to your clarification on the school sign - it's triangular in shape, has a red border, 2 children in black and 'school' below the triangle. Whilst it may not may not dramatically reduce speeding drivers down Warwick, York and Highworth etc it will raise awareness that children will be crossing. It would be prudent to put one up on each of these main school routes and also on Brownlow Rd/York Rd junction where many children are crossing to go to school.
And please, please raise the issue of a Zebra crossing. I appreciate that it would take up valuable parking space for residents, but I'm sure a lot of these residents have children and would benefit from it. It would make sense to put it at the end of York Rd & Shrewsbury Rd (opposite the Nisa store) or at the end of Lancaster Rd/Union Rd access routes to Bowes Primary School.
I have a call with the school tomorrow to see if they are already pursuing these points (and others), and will let you know their response.
I look forward to furthering our discussion and hearing your feedback from the council. I feel these could be 'quick' measures which could really improve the safety of those busy roads.
Clare, here is what the officer wrote back. Not great but if TFL confirms that it is turning down all the things I/we have been working on for more than 2 years - which tragically seems increasingly likely - then we'll know that all we have left are Enfield level mitigation possibilities. In the mean time...
From: David B Taylor
Sent: 01 October 2014 09:03
To: Cllr Alan Sitkin; Cllr Achilleas Georgiou; Cllr Yasemin Brett
Subject: RE: Zebra crossing Warwick? [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
We didn’t pursue the idea of a zebra crossing because the associated zig-zag markings would mean having to remove too much parking (at least 12 spaces). [CLARE THAT;S SOMETHING WE MIGHT REVIEW WITH YOUR NEIGHBOURS]
I’ll check the position with the ERPF funding, although I don’t believe that much (if anything) is left following the installation of the pinch-points, the traffic modelling work etc. We are using LIP funding (ironically provided by TfL) to continue the modelling work and would also use this to fund the implementation of any future scheme. I think we should continue to focus on this option as more signs are unlikely to have much impact on either the volume or speed of traffic.