View from the chamber: We need action now on these rat runs

Cllr Alessandra Rossetti wants to put an end to 'rat run' roads.

Cllr Alessandra Rossetti wants to put an end to 'rat run' roads. - Credit: Archant

When I speak to local residents in my ward, there is one issue raised over and over: the rush hour rat running along residential roads such as Winton Avenue and Crescent Road.

A result of drivers trying to shave a few seconds off their journey by avoiding the North Circular or Bounds Green Road, on their way from one end of Haringey to the other.

Since being elected over two years ago, I, along with my fellow Alexandra ward councillors, and the local community, have had meetings with Haringey officers and cabinet members to discuss solutions, and explain that unless a low traffic neighbourhood is put in place, the congestion and road rage will become more unbearable every day.

There have been several meetings of the local community at the Sweet Tree Bakery, in Albert Rec and online. Residents may be uncertain about which is the best solution, but they all want to limit the cut through traffic and the pollution that comes with it.

We are still unclear about the response from Haringey. We are constantly told why things are difficult but never what can be done.

Yet we see what can be done: more than a 100 low-traffic schemes have now been implemented around London. Yet in our area it is apparently too tricky.

Haringey only sprung into action when Enfield implemented a quiet-traffic scheme in Bowes Park and it decided to bid for money to mitigate any potential spill over traffic. We still don’t know the results of the bid. However, it’s a start, and we hope that it will eventually lead to modal filters, cycling routes, number plate recognition cameras and the school streets that other boroughs in London have already implemented.

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We are aware of the problems: if funding comes from TfL there will not be enough time to consult before implementing the measures. We also need to get traffic and air pollution monitoring in place and a way must be found for those that need a car to move around to still do so.

However, the world is changing, residents want, and deserve, quiet local areas where it is possible to cycle, walk and cross the street without the fear of being yelled at, knocked over or breathing in toxic air. It is time to set the wheels in motion in Haringey too.