A Community Network for Bowes Park and Bounds Green
Did you know that residents in Waltham Forest have successfully worked with their local council to create and join together a number of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods to reduce traffic and pollution and improve their local streets and environment?
A charity called Better Streets for Enfield has proposed a solution to traffic problems in Bowes in the form of a 'Low Traffic Neighbourhood' for our area. For the first time in a while, the concept (the detail would need to be worked out) has met with genuine enthusiasm and unity amongst local residents around this area proposal. I've attached a map:
The map isn't completely up to date and doesn't show all the road closures but it's ok as an illustration of the concept. The green bars are 'modal filters' - a barrier made up of bollards and or planters etc. that allow walkers and cycles through but not cars.
The red bar is a 'bus gate'. This ensures that Brownlow Rd is also included in the solution and is one of they keys to the success of the proposal - it creates a genuine low traffic neighbourhood from Telford Rd to Green Lanes and Bounds Green Rd to Bowes Rd.
The bus gate concept is straightforward - a narrowing of the road with signs and cameras that allows buses and cycles through, but not cars or light vehicles. Radical? Maybe, but effective.
The idea is simple - the design means every road and every house in our area will still be accessible by car. However there will no longer be routes through the area for non-local traffic, what we refer to as 'rat-runners'.
Most local people would recognise that the area is blighted by this, some roads are quieter than others but some are experiencing high levels of rat-running, pollution and traffic and we all have to use these roads.
Brownlow Rd, while it is a B-road, has seen traffic levels soar and we deserve an area solution - this is the bus gate mentioned above.
The final design needs to be worked on but this was felt to be a good basis for discussion. It could only be made to work by the community and the council working together. What do you think?
Imagine what it would be like to live in a street in our community blighted by traffic. Where you can't open your windows because of the noise and toxic fumes from traffic. Where you can't stand chatting in the street with neighbours. Where you have to take detours down other streets to get to your house.
As I walked around the streets of Bowes Ward canvassing for the local election I had many conversations with people. There are many different views about the traffic situation in our ward. One challenge is how all the voices are heard. The voices of those who live in the leafy suburbs of our ward which already feel like a low traffic neighbourhood (LTN). The voices of those whose lives are blighted by the traffic that invades their residential streets on a daily basis.
The first question is 'Do you want a Low Traffic Community in Bowes Ward?'
This year up to ten million pounds will be given to each authority to develop low traffic neighbourhoods. Matt has described above what these areas will be like.
As Matt says the plan could only be made to work by the community and the council working together. What do you think?
As I stood with our newly elected councillors waiting for the results of the election they assured me that they care about 'green issues'. So I assume that they are ready to work with the Bowes Ward community to develop a LTN.