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.
Thanks for sharing. Pretty much the response I would expect, but good that they got back to you so quickly.
When the Clarendon estate was first mooted it was suggested that it should have a bus route although this seems to have gone a little quiet. An obvious provision would be to extend the 91 along Mary Neuner Road and Western Road to Wood Green. This would satisfy those who are appealing for it to continue to the High Street, provide it with a business case, link Crouch End with Wood Green and enable it to terminate where there are staff facilities.
Two things. As a CENF member, I can say that it has NEVER been CENF’s position to support traffic measures in CE which would divert traffic down Wghtman Road. The reciprocal - closing Wightman Road and sending traffic through CE - actually happened and flooded CE with dense traffic and toxic fumes. We are not such Nimbys as to wish the same visited on those who we regard as neighbours. The complexity of planning traffic management in CE has to include the issue of overspill effects, and we have always made that clear in discussions with Haringey,
The LCE scheme is devised by Haringey Council who own the strategic responsibility for traffic management in the borough. The general principle of trying to reduce traffic impact and improving the street scene within the LCE is one CENF supports, as we have had practically zero investment in street scene for at least three decades. But getting from that principle to an effective and implementable scheme is a difficult process, and perhaps one that has been under appreciated by all parties. It’s possible to support the process but have reservations about particular solutions and want those to be scrutinised further. In our talks with Haringey we always try to make the point to look at the wider impacts for at least the sensible reason that a CE solution will only be robust if it doesn’t impact elsewhere. In many ways local traffic management is a poor tool to answer problems created by capital wide macro economic forces, I don’t think there is advantage in trying to set one set of Haringey residents against another. It’s not what people think.
One of the topics in this thread - extending the 91 bus to Church Road and Hornsey station - shows some of the points. The idea of extension has been around for several years. The past response has been that the turnaround, particularly at rush hour, would add 30 minutes to each 91 journey and increase delays and bunching at peak hours. It’s a familiar issue of the unexpected consequences of solving one problem that creates more elsewhere. Some problems are just really hard.
Charles, that sounds very reassuring.
From your comment, it sounds like the CENF response to the Council on this 'consultation' will include a very clear rejection of any road closures or diversions that displace traffic to neighbouring areas.
I also sense in your response a lingering resentment about the traffic diversions put in place during the Wightman Bridge works. You imply that it was nimbyism from this side of the tracks that chose to send traffic thundering through Crouch End. It may help if I just fill in a few of the gaps.
Prior to the works locals were consulted about the works, we were were aware that the are about 20,000 cars a day using Wightman road - a road designed for the same purpose and at the same dimension as, say Elder Avenue or Elmfield Avenue in Crouch End (Imagine 20,000 cars a day going down one of those roads). The surprisingly authentic pre-works consultation offered the options of channelling that traffic down the already overused Ladder roads or diverting it on to main roads. The residents very reasonably opined that with some roads already getting 2-4,000 vehicle a day, a diversion option would be the sensible choice. I don't think that any residents assumed for a moment that this would send traffic through Crouch End - athough, arguably, Haringey's Traffic Dept perhaps should have done.
Now, however, the situation is different. As a result of the Wightman works, we all know how inextricably linked are the traffic systems in Harringay and Crouch End. It sounds like CENF has taken that knowledge and used it to form the basis of a very sound rejection of any changes in Crouch End that will divert traffic to neighbouring areas.
By the way, would it be possible for you to share a copy of that CENF response to Haringey on this?