Bowes and Bounds Connected

A Community Network for Bowes Park and Bounds Green

1. We've been arguing as cllrs that Warwick should get pinch points that actually pinch. Looks like that is happening. Good.

-----Original Message-----
From: Trevor King <Trevor.King@enfield.gov.uk>
To: Cllr.Alan Sitkin 
Sent: Thu, 13 Feb 2014 16:54
Dear Councillor Sitkin
 
The Warwick Road build outs were discussed further with Cllr Bond yesterday and we are looking to extend the build outs. It is necessary to maintain a 3.5m gap however, so as not to preclude any classes of vehicle using the road (including fire appliances and waste collection, but also larger vehicles as they cannot be restricted). As previously advised I am concerned that the minor build out just protruding from the parked vehicles could be a hazard and colleagues in traffic and transportation share this concern, thus we are looking at how this can be achieved safely. This is likely to necessitate the use of flecta island  bollards, but we need to ensure these are visible with vehicles parked on the approach as I am aware that restricting further parking is not an option. The road will need to be temporarily closed whilst the work is carried out due to the narrow width and this will need to be organised and programmed.
 
I will ensure you are updated at your meeting with Ian Davis.
 
Regards
 
Trevor King
Group Engineer, Network Management and Improvements
Highway Services
Environment Department
Enfield Council
2. Renewed meeting with TFL last week of February to accelerate roll-out of measures decided at consultation last autumn.  Distributing leaflets on Warwick recapping the handicaps they've tried to raise since we first informed them of the community decisions - but we're not having it.
Here is the letter itself

Dear resident

North Circular Road / Warwick Rd area traffic

Further to the public meeting on the above at Bowes School, we have been pursuing with Transport for London (TfL) the wish of many residents for a banned right turn in the North Circular Road from Warwick Road, coupled with a banned left turn from York Road in to Brownlow Road.

The GLA’s Deputy Mayor for Transport, Isabel Dedring, first replied to us on 17 December. Her letter included the following comment

 

"Our observations also indicate that there has been a general increase in traffic the area over the past few years but most of the increased traffic has remained on the A406. TfL believes that any new measures on the A406 in the Bounds Green area that could increase delays and/or congestion on the A406, such as Mr Taylor’s suggestions to reintroduce right turning from the A406 into Brownlow Road or from Bounds Green Road into the A406, could force even more traffic into the residential areas."

Then in late January, TfL sent further correspondence expressing concerns that the measures put forward by the community in our meeting last autumn would worsen congestion on the North Circular Road. It did not entirely rule out their implementation but requested some extremely detailed traffic models.

Enfield Council officers' response dated 4 February has suggested, however, that we proceed in the way that the community suggested at our public meeting, if only on an experimental basis. This will begin with an assessment of the impact of additional right turn at the A406/Brownlow Road/Powys Lane.

We will continue to keep residents informed.

Yours faithfully,

 

Bowes Ward councillors

 

Achilleas Georgiou

Yasemin Brett

Alan Sitkin

Views: 453

Comment by Geoffrey Kemball-Cook on February 15, 2014 at 11:31

Dear Alan

As always I am grateful to you and your fellow councillors for keeping us informed and trying to negotiate for improvements in areas such as Warwick Road.

BUT...

Having already taken speed cushions away (in response to understandable resident complaints about noise and vibration) and replaced them by small build-outs (with nice young trees just planted in them), I cannot see the sense in expensively widening these.

The key point to understand is that "pinch points" (build-outs which stick out into the carriageway beyond parked cars) only EVER have a useful function in traffic calming when they are installed in a WIDE road which previously enjoyed unfettered two-way traffic. Half an hour spent online researching pinch points (ironically, at many council highways websites) shows this clearly. A typical sensible set of installations can be seen on Blake Road, just over the boundary in Haringey. There, two-way traffic is restricted at several points to turn-taking, with obvious effective reductions in overall speeds. I'm going to underline this point because it seems that no matter how many times it is stressed, the machine rolls on. Pinch Points are to slow traffic flow by imposing one-way turn-taking in a wide road with freely-flowing two-way traffic. Like Blake Road.

So let's turn to Warwick Road. Warwick Road is a much narrower end-Victorian residential road with full-on parking on both sides of the road. In the absence of any traffic calming measures whatever, traffic flow up and down Warwick Road has ALWAYS been one-way turn-taking, as any resident within half a mile will tell you. Standing on any sideroad corner with Warwick Road for ten minutes will show you this beyond the slightest misunderstanding. Are we closing in on the point now? Installation of wider Pinch Points which stick out into the road will NOT, repeat NOT, impose one-way turn-taking on traffic flow, because that is how the traffic flow ALREADY IS, every day of the year. In this case, what on earth would widening the build-outs achieve? And the expense...  and the road closures...

Yes, we do have a problem with speeding rat-runners in Warwick Road. Speed cushions were tried - they reduced speeds but residents hated them. That doesn't mean you replace them with something else that doen't work. Come and stand on Warwick Road near the A406 and watch the rat-running cars flying down the gap in the middle of the road, honking their horns at cars in the sideroads trying to get their turn coming the other way. Extending these build-outs will do absolutely nothing to change this behaviour. What it will do however will simply increase the feeling residents have that these kind of measures are imposed without logic, or respect for them.

We really have somehow to break this circle of responding to something that doesn't work by changing it, expensively, in a way that will also not work. Please tell me this ridiculous plan cannot go ahead.

I know councillors are often just the messengers. This is not directed at local councillors but is a plea for common sense to make an appearance.

Thanks for listening as always

Geoff

Comment by Alan Sitkin on February 15, 2014 at 12:30

Hi Geoff, 

I wish I knew the perfect solution. But none exists. If it did, people would be rolling it out everywhere.

My understanding of the logic of pinch points - which is being supported by the traffic engineers and a majority (but not, as you correctly point out, all) of the neighbourhood - is in actual fact to make driving on Warwick more difficult. 

In turn that will be communicated (via Tom Tom GPS? other means?) to rat-runners, partially dissuading them from using Warwick. 

Because the root problem is of course the sheer volume of people who have no business in Bowes using Warwick because they think it's a short cut off the NCR/Telford. As you remember from the origin and destination studies we commissioned, that accounts for 50% (50%!) of Warwick traffic at certain times of the day.

Almost by definition, anything the Council can do on Warwick itself attacks the symptoms of the problem. It can be helpful (more signage, etc.) but we need to be honest with oneanother, it's not the big picture. We absolutely need - NEED - deeper, more structural measures, i.e.  changes in the traffic schemes devised by TFL (but also Haringey), which have had such a disastrous knock-on effect on traffic volumes.

You'll know from our repeated communications (most up to date is always our website: http://boweslabour.blogspot.co.uk/ ) that we're constantly trying to put pressure on TFL. Won't bore you with the latest details but one thing new is that David Burrowes MP has at long last shown interest in Warwick and promised to join our efforts. The comment I've heard from most people is where has he been all these years and why is he suddenly doing photo ops on Warwick (something about the electoral calendar maybe?). But I figure better late than never and if he can sway his party political friends at Boris's GLA to sway TFL that would be very welcome. Anything that helps helps.

At a more institutional level, there is the simple fact that unlike councillors - whose sole focus and remit is to fight for constituents - TFL's mission is  (as far as I understand) simply to let traffic flow as smoothly as possible on its roads (in our case the North Circ). Explaining why they are always so resistant to the will of the people, expressed by petition, by councillors, however. Very simply, local residential neighbourhoods do not seem to be at the top of TFL's mission statement.

And until that changes, nightmares like the traffic on Warwick will keep recurring.

Anyway, thanks Geoff, I do appreciate what you write, it advances the thinking.

Comment by Geoffrey Kemball-Cook on February 15, 2014 at 18:27

Dear Alan

Thanks for taking to time to give a thoughtful reply.

As you say, if there were a simple solution which works, everyone would be doing it. It's the same with illegal parking outside primary schools, where the only solution would appear to be punitive CCTV, as a time when Pickles seems determined to rid the land of CCTV on all roads.

I never pretended to know what WOULD work on somewhere like Warwick Road - what the Council SHOULD do. What drives me potty is that with a straight face, the professionals we employ with our hard-earned Council Tax are going to spend yet more of that money completely pointlessly. Given that emergency vehicles always have to be allowed through access, there will always be room for a rat-runner to fly down the road.

The only thing I can think of, given that the whole area has been made into a 20mph zone, would be to install speed cameras. However I have been told that this is impossible.

You are quite right that TfL, with their mindset to keep the A406 running at all costs, will never act in the interests of residents if it conflicts with that principle. This really is the topsy-turvy world - where the great god traffic flow rules over all. he more free-flowing the A406 is, the more people will use it, the more journeys, the more fumes, the more accidents.

I was aware of David Burrowes visit but I counldn't get down there at the time. I am waiting to hear what came of it.

Best wishes

Geoff

Comment by Alan Sitkin on February 25, 2014 at 1:04

I will ask the Council's Director for Environment. Note that at one of our recent Warwick meetings, he made the obvious point that the Council Administration making decisions about Warwick before 2010 (Conservative) was not the same as the Council Administration making decisions afterwards (Labour), with each having different ideas of what constitutes optimal road calming measures. If not for political reasons then because technologies evolve. Not to mention whatever works had to be redone for maintenance reasons - humps/bumps/tables wear out like everything else.

It would be misleading not to take all these factors into account when analysing the total spend on Warwick over the years. To repeat a point made earlier - and I hope you will accept this now - the Council's Director for Environment is not in the business of wasting taxpayers' hard-earned money. Especially at a time when your Enfield Council is more cash-strapped than ever. 

Asides from that, the big picture was and remains the sheer volume of traffic on Warwick. Towards that end, I am meeting with TFL - again - this Thursday. Hopefully it's at a higher level and all the noise we've been making (for years!) will move them. Because we are still very much looking to implement the preferences expressed by the community at last autumn's widely attended consultation.

Comment by Alan Sitkin on March 6, 2014 at 20:18
We met with TFL at a higher level this week and will be relaying the info to residents in a day or so

Otherwise I requested the info in question but it takes a lot longer than 5 minutes. Of course you can also request it directly

Lastly, to use Basil or John's description, it is once again very wrong to be so vitriolic on this thread. "Cowboy builder", "vulnerable pensioner", "tosh"- it's aggressive language and puts me off coming here.
Comment by Alan Sitkin on March 10, 2014 at 21:41

See my post last Thursday (only 3 days ago!).  "I requested the info in question but it takes a lot longer than 5 minutes. Of course you can also request it directly". 

Otherwise, re: your "embarrassing" jibe, once again it makes no sense. Why would councillors ever be embarrassed by the fact that we do everything we can to be responsive to constituents' wants?

The big picture re:further communication on Bowes and Bounds is this. Your posts are always accusatory and skewed, i.e. they always start with your requiring that I account for some mistake or the other that you claim has been made. Not only do I rarely agree with your assertions, I am also tired of always being on the receiving end of your anger (what you refer to as your "blood boiling over").

So after being harangued X number of times, it's clear that informal communications are no longer possible, i.e. things will have to be more formal from now on. Your tone has made more normal, friendly exchanges impossible.

To repeat, re: the specifics you are looking for, "I requested the info in question but it takes a lot longer than 5 minutes. Of course you can also request it directly".  If you write me back, you'll get the same answer. So really, no need to write me any more on this. "You can also request it directly."

Comment by Liz Wright on April 19, 2017 at 14:51
This might be an interesting thread to read for those attending the Bowes Ward Forum tomorrow when we consider where we have got to with this issue three years later. It is only thanks to a petition set up by a BR resident last year that residents on Brownlow road were aware of the discussions taking place.

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