Work Has Begun – Waldeck Road

Photo by Pete Rogers

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14 Responses to Work Has Begun – Waldeck Road

  1. I have been knocking on the doors in Langham road and all residents i spoke to expressed the same view that they would like a ONE WAY system introduced in langham road as this will reduce the amount of accidents on parked cars. Langham Road is too narrow when cars are coming in both directions. I am calling on all residents to write on this bog and also direct to Joan Hancox to request that the council consider this. I have contacted Ms Hancox and waiting on formal reply. This table in Langham Road will not work so show your voice and speak up now. If we do not get a formal reply within the next couple of weeks I will be starting a petition. This is YOUR STREET so you should have an imput as to what is done! Contact me if you need help in writing your letter!

    • The consultation period and activities/workshops carried out over the past year have given residents ample opportunity to get involved and have their opinion heard. Many residents have been enormously involved over the past few months and played an active role in the redesign of the neighbourhood. I have posted considerable information on the blog regarding why it is expected that the features on Langham Road will have a significant impact on the speed of traffic – equally, I have gone into detail as to why a one way system would not be a suitable option. I am sorry that you did not take part in the consultation process over the past year, but – as I mentioned recently when I came to your house to update you on the project – all residents have had every opportunity to get involved. This project is not focused simply on Langham Road but on the whole neighbourhood. We have also made it clear that this project is not the ‘golden ticket’ to solving every issue overnight, but it will provide a cost effective and comprehensive foundation to changing how traffic moves through the area, and subsequently how residents feel about their neighbourhood.

  2. DPR says:

    I’m somewhat mystified as to why you are suddenly raising this now – consultation with residents has been ongoing for well over a year and widely publicised across the neighbourhood in that time, including newsletters through doors, posters and regular consultation events. Now the plans have been signed off after a formal council consultation, again including lots of public posters inviting comments. If residents haven’t been bothered enough to get actively involved and take part in this process it strikes me as a bit rich to suddenly try and sabotage it now.

  3. I have spoken to many residents in Langham Road from the coffee shop till the bend and all residents state the same thing that they were unaware of previous meetings and certainly did not receive a chance to vote concerning the one way idea. I have formally requested under the freedom of information the details of all such meetings direct to Joan Hancox so until this is received I cannot comment as to how many people were actually involved in the consultation. Certainly the latest 21 day statutory notification issued 29th September to residents in langham road was NOT given out, Was NOT posted in the information board. and a final comment to DPR i refute your comments that residents could not be bothered and stating that we are trying to sabotage the project is offensive and would request you refrain from personal attacks.

  4. DPR says:

    Sorry Nick but it’s not a personal attack to despair at people’s lack of involvement! I’ve only lived locally for a year but in that time I have managed to attend around half a dozen DIY Streets conultation/ideas meetings. I have had at least five newsletters through my letterbox, have visited this blog regularly, have been on a walk around the neighbourhood with Ben and other residents looking at ALL the issues in the local area and seen numerous posters in the streets advertising and promoting all of the above. I’ve also had a letter from the council re: the consultation and seen several posters attached to lamposts giving details of this too. There’s also a community noticeboard near the tube station which has content that is changed regularly and I’m pretty sure there was a note in there asking pople to email the council with their views.

    I’ve bumped into Ben in the local streets on at least three occasions outside the formal meetings and had the chance to speak to him, and have received regular emails from him updating on the project. I’m also subscribed to the project’s Twitter acount and Facebook page. How much more could have been done to engage residents? Therefore I totally fail to see how, “all residents state the same thing that they were unaware of previous meetings and certainly did not receive a chance to vote concerning the one way idea.”

    We all have concerns about our own street and the proposed solutions but to ignore the wider remit of the project in favour of individual concerns is really against the spirit of the whole DIY Streets ethos. In addition I just don’t understand why, if there’s such a passion amongst Langham residents for a one way street, you haven’t been lobbying the council for this anyway and have only decided to do so now that work is underway… I’m not at all trying to be insulting but I am extremely frustrated that with all these opportunities to get involved people are still claiming not to have known anything about it.

  5. DPR.. Thanks for your reply. I have lived in this street for 47 years. We have on previous occasions sent a petition to the council concerning the traffic problems in Langham Road. In fact the parking permit scheme was introduced years ago as a result of constant letters and petitions by the residents. You must remember that not all residents are able to look at internet blogs due to age or illness. neighbours who have lived here from 20 years to 75 years ,feel as I do. The letter I got was back in July of this year and it was from that month that some of my neighbours started to contact the council informing them of the lack of information regarding our street. I emailed and telephoned the council straight away and they took 2 months to respond.Therefore our protest was not left till the work started. I can honestly say that I personally did not receive a chance to vote on the one way idea. At the meeting on the 12th the residents about 15 who attended told Sustrans that they equally felt that not enogh information was given to them and had asked for a one way system. What ever the case I equally feel frustrated when people who dont live here or have just moved here seem to think that they know better than people who have lived here nearly all their life. What we should be doing is uniting together to find a suitable solution instead of dismissing the wishes of residents and blaming each other. As I have said I have contacted Joan Hancox head at haringey council to provide information regarding this vote and think it is probably better to wait for her formal reply.

  6. DPR says:

    Well I must take issue with your assertion that I’m not allowed to express an opinion since I haven’t lived here as long as you, and, as a matter of fact, at no point have I said that I know better than you! I actually have no strong opinion either way about a one way system on your street as I don’t live there, though the information that Ben has supplied elsewhere seems compelling from an research/evidence based perspective i.e. that a one way system would speed up traffic and therefore increase the risk of accidents (and not just to parked cars).

    One Way Systems: Control the circulation of traffic but can lead to faster speeds as there is no opposing flow. Traffic can increase on other roads so there needs to be a suitable route for traffic travelling in the other direction. One way streets can attract new traffic so overall traffic may not decrease.

    Actually all I have tried to do is refute your vehement claim that residents have not been consulted because that is plainly not true and whilst I totally accept what you say about not everyone having web access etc that doesn’t explain why they might not have seen the newsletters and posters or been able to attend the meetings held in the Chruch Hall on Waldeck Road, right on your doorstep (looking back in my diary I went to meetings there on the following dates: 13/10/10, 15/01/11, 29/01/11, 19/03/11, 02/04/11, 12/05/11, there were also a couple of others I couldn’t make, including the hay bale session on 09/07/11).

    I agree, there doesn’t seem much point continuing this debate since you seem more concerned with your own back yard than with implementing a system that tackles the problems of speeding, rat running etc across the whole neighbourhood and creates safer and more pleasant streets for everyone, including pedestrians (especially those with disabilities or mobility problems), children (there are two schools on my street and no safe place to cross a very busy road at present) and cyclists. Shame.

  7. Alice says:

    I will speak as a cyclist who uses Langham Road on a daily basis. Tonight – once again – I have nearly been run over by car drivers who already seem to think they are on a one way system and speed without due care to other road users.

    I could also rail against a process that has actually taken the energy of many local people who volunteered their time at week-ends. I could, for example, advocate that cars should be banned from the streets of London and that the whole area should be pedestrianised. I could write to the council today and suggest to them that parking should be on alternate sides of the road every other day to ensure that cars are not damaged and not in the way of the traffic (now that’s a very good idea, I might actually do that now, come to think of it). I could take issue with the fact that the result of any democratic consultation process is flawed just because none of my wishes e.g. that cars should be abolished altogether seem to be listened to. However, compromises have to be reached – that is the reality of the democratic process – it will not please everyone but strives for the greater overall good. If I did keep pushing my own preferences above the agreed consensus this would be phoney and insulting to the consultation process that has taken place and to those who freely gave up their time.

    Before every meeting, the team worked tirelessly to place posters on trees, advertising the events well in advance. That’s how I learnt about them, not via the internet. Now it is true that if you walk from your front door to your car and don’t pay attention to the trees around you then you won’t have seen any of these. But don’t blame the people who tried very hard indeed to involve everyone. And certainly don’t get in the way by pretending that you have not been consulted: you may not have noticed the many ways you could have got involved over the last 14 months but don’t blame that on anyone else! Just take it as a lesson, and next time get involved at the earliest opportunity.

  8. DPR this seems to have become an argument that i see no point continuing. You have a right of expressing your view as do we. Since you state that you do not live in Langham road then you are not in a position to state what we the residents in Langham road have or have not received in regards to notifications of any meetings or information or what we as residents want to have happen in our street. As far as the whole area is concerned of course we as residents want a safer and nicer place to live. Whether or not the changes will achieve this time will tell. You sound more like an employee of sustrans then a resident!!!…I have already had a meeting with Ben regarding the lack of information regarding the meetings held and am dealing direct with Joan Hancox about this. I am therefore not going to continue this with you as I feel it is not achieving anything. I do however wish you well and assure you of my best intentions!

    • I would just like to clarify that I did indeed meet with Nick to discuss “the lack of information regarding the meetings held” and explained in detail the various measures taken to inform residents, including:
      DIY Streets newsletters (hand delivered by me to every address in the neighbourhood)
      Official Council Consultation Documents (which I assisted in hand delivering to every address in the neighbourhood)
      Project posters (put up by me before every DIY Streets event and consultation)
      The actual DIY Streets meetings and consultations (three of which took place outside in the neighbourhood)
      A notice given in the local paper
      A feature on BBC London radio
      The installation, and regular updating, of public noticeboard (from March ’11)
      The hours spent – outside of meetings and consultations – walking around the neighbourhood speaking with residents.

  9. DPR says:

    Hi Nick,

    I promise you I’m not a Sustrans employee! I live on Downhills Park Road (which is absolutely shocking for speeding cars and dangerous maneouvres, especially on the semi-blind spot where primary age children cross on the bend at the junction with Mannock Rd) so I do think I have a right to comment on what you are campaigning for if it could have a knock on impact or even stop the whole project at this late stage. To be honest though I still insist that nothing I’ve said anywhere previously constitutes telling you guys what ought to happen on Langham Road, because I don’t know, I’m not an expert and as I tend to use public transport don’t use your road much at this point in time, except occasionally on my bike. My only objection has been to you stating that residents were not consulted on the project.

    I do now have a couple of questions for you however:

    1. Why do you think a one way street will work better than what the qualified enginer and transport specialists advise? What is your evidence base? Can you give any examples of where one way systems have improved things locally? I’m genuinely interested to hear your reasons.

    2. If you were to be successful in getting a one way system on Langham Road, where do you think all the displaced traffic would go? What would be the impact on the rest of the neighbourhood? Are you thinking of this at a macro level?

    3. Where would the money to pay for a one way system come from given that the project has been signed off and all monies allocated after a consultation which met all the statutory requirements? Are you suggesting that other treatments in other streets should be scrapped to pay for this? Or that we should forget buying any trees to improve the area? That the council should have to find even more damaging cuts to pay for this?

    I sincerely don’t doubt your good intentions at all, and applaud your efforts to engage your neighbours, but what a pity that it wasn’t sooner. I wouldn’t want my car scratched either, I’m honestly not trying to be dismissive, I do understand your frustrations, indeed I’d have liked different solutions for my street too, but there has to be compromise and prioritisation along the way and that is what the consultation process was all about. I’m genuinely sorry that you feel you have missed out on this process but I can’t accept you saying not enough was done to consult with residents.

    I have also been in touch with Joan Hancox and have pointed her to this thread so she has a fuller picture of the issues at hand.

    Finally, yes, you’re right, this has gone on too long and is clearly going nowhere fast so I’ll stop now too, though I do honestly hope we are able to find a solution that works for everyone.

  10. Thank you for your reply. Any discussion is a good thing providing it doesnt get personal or suggestive that others are not being honest especially when they state that they were unaware of meetings that took place. In fact on reflection and seeing the dates that you quoted of these meetings has frustrated me even more that I was unaware of them. However I will answer your questions.
    1. An engineer does not always mean that they are right. Although I am sure they are acting in what they believe is in the best interest. How many times have they made a decision to change something then found out it was the wrong one? Examples to name a few: langham road juction with belmont. Engineers came up with an idea to extend the pavement and narrow the road to avoid collitionson and children being hurt whislist crossing the road. A few months later realising that this not only caused more problems but was dangerous came and removed it and expanded the road again. White hart lane where they introduced a system where one part of the road was blocked so cars would have to stop and give way to ongoing traffic. Two months later realising this was worse they came and removed it. I strongly believe that the best way is to ask the people who live it to suggest solutions.
    The one way systems introduced in the Harringay ladder, and off wolves lane/green lanes are examples where it has worked. Just ask the residents…I have…
    The problem we face in Langham road and carlingford is that the road is too narrow for cars coming both ways especially when and as always is..has parked cars. As they approach the bend when cars are coming both directions they try and avoid each other with the result they hit the parked cars. In fact on one occasion the parked car mounted the pavement.. Neighbours are scared to park their car near the bend and as one resident told me she is afraid to allow her child to stand on the pavement outside her house incase a car mounts the pavement.
    2 the idea would be a one way up to waldeck for both Langham and carlingford. I do not believe this will affect manock road or increase the traffic flow in any street. If this is introduced with the current speed table I think it will work. At least people will be able to park their car safely and allow the children to play out on their street without fear. I had my car written off twice! We are collecting video evidence now.
    3.The residents who attended the meeting on the 12th October clearly stated that if money was not available at this time that they were willing to wait to the new financial year. We are not suggesting that they remove money from anywhere else.As far as council money is concerned, this is being funded by Transport for London not council money so services are not affected.
    As I stated I am all for a pleasant debate on any issues as long as they do not become personal and once again thank you for taking the time to respond. It is a shame that not many others put pen to paper and express their feelings. Kind regards to you..

  11. Alice you can write to the council and suggest what ever you like. This is your legal right just as it is ours.I am not blaming anyone and for your information I dont have tress in this part of Langham road. Ben yes you did explain the measurements taken to inform residents of the consultation period. I dont doubt that you did most of what you state but I as some 20 Langham road resident state we did not receive all the information through our door. It is a shame that this blog is fast becoming an argument about whether or not information was given as opposed to finding a solution to the problems we as Langham road residents are facing. Maybe if everyone concentrated on this rather then attacking others we could reach an agreement in the interest of everyone in the area!!

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