This week the Ham & High carries an article on the issue of the rising number of shop vacancies in Crouch End.
Interviewed for the piece, the chair of the Crouch End Neighbourhood Forum explained that he's pinning his hopes on the Liveable Crouch End Scheme to save his area from empty shops.
The following from the Ham & High
Crouch End Neighbourhood Forum figures show a worrying picture with shop vacancies: As of December, the number of vacant units has more than doubled from 11 to 24, while the number of food and drink outlets fell 9pc.
Mark Afford, the group's chair, said it seemed evidence of "difficult trading conditions", but added: "Last year was the first year in a long time that the number of cafes and restaurants fell.
Mark said the forum is hopeful the Hornsey Town Hall redevelopment and the eventual Liveable Crouch End scheme could help give the town centre a boost.
He said: "That's one of the reasons we are not against Liveable Crouch End, this probably some of the only money that'll be spent on Crouch End."
It's interesting to know more about the CENF's motives for pushing the traffic through Harringay. But I'm not sure that I'm reassured by it.
Funny, I was just thinking the other day that it might kill the centre of Crouch End stone dead....
Well an argument could be made that we only have the high street we do because people can drive down to the restaurants there in the evening.
Why would you drive to eat out as then you cant drink? I expect if people are coming by car its Uber they are using not anything else.
Er, not everyone drinks alcohol?
True but even so many of he busiest places in Crouch End in the evenings are known for the alcohol as well as the food. I just don’t get what anyone feels the need to drive to a place in their own neighbourhood. Would you drive from Wightman Road to a restaurant on Green Lanes?
I think John was referring to Green Lanes, and people driving to the Green Lanes restaurants rather than Crouch End.
Yes I was and most of the customers seem to eat and not drink. We've had this vibrant restaurant scene for nearly 8 years now, the prices are slowly inflating but boy were they cheap to start with.
You only need so many coffee shops...
I’ve recently moved to the Crouch End area and I did not get a chance to participate in the Liveable Crouch End Surveys this time around. However I feel very strongly that the 91 bus route should extend slight to loop around Church Lane and then Tottenham Lane to provide much better linkage to Hornsey Station and Crouch End Broadway. Rather than terminating in the centre of Crouch End (outside the YMCA) and over-using the tiny (and dangerous) roundabout at the junction of Ferme Park Road, the 91 should continue to Hornsey Station/ Tottenham Lane where it can terminate and continue its route back in to central London and better connect Hornsey.
My other observation is that more trains from Finsbury Park on the Great Northern (and/or Thameslinks) should stop at Hornsey (as they do for Alexandra Palace) which would ease traffic entering Crouch End from the south and redistribute it from the north.
Please can you let me know your thoughts on these two ideas.
These both sound like sensible suggestions.
I'd guess that the practicalities related to the bus change would be quite straightforward (but probably not popular with bus drivers!).
I'd love to see the suburban services on the Great Northern Line brought within London Overground. Apparenlty this isn't beyond the bounds of possibility.
The following snippet is from an update given to Parliament almost two years ago. Whilst I'm not sure to what extent it reflects current thinking, it does at least sound hopeful:
Mr Speaker I have already set out my plans to restructure the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise following the successful delivery of the Thameslink Programme.I have indicated that we will separate it into 2 or more franchises after the end of the current contract in 2021. We have not yet reached a decision about how to operate Great Northern services.
However I have had initial discussions with the Mayor of London about the possibility of transferring some of these to the London Overground, as recommended by Chris Gibb in his report
Any change would be subject to consultation. But there is also an operational case for integrating Great Northern services from Kings Cross into the new LNER operation, and this is an option that I am asking my officials and the new LNER route board to do feasibility work on.
Full speech at www.gov.uk/government/speeches/east-coast-rail-update
Dear Hugh - thanks very much for the reply which is informative and helpful not to mention hopeful! I’ll watch developments keenly! I’ve written to GNR too, and also to TfL regarding the 91 route. Plus I’ve written o Haringey Council as part of their Crouch End Lives programme. Will keep you updated! Best, Nick
The response I’ve just received from TfL on the 91 bus route extension to Hornsey station:
Date: 3 March 2020 at 13:16:05 GMT
To: Nicolas Mattis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Bus route 91 CRM001:0732000002169
Thank you for contacting us on 28 Febraru regarding bus route 91.
I'd like to firstly thank you for your suggestions. this suggestion of yours will be passed over to the Network Development team who will take this on board.
However, I'd like to advise you that route 91 is currently meeting it's passenger demand. If there were to be a route change it would be shown on our website or the TfL consultation page.
Thanks again for contacting us. If there is anything else we can help you with, please reply to this email. Alternatively, you can call us on 0343 222 1234 and we'll be happy to help you.