Calls for fewer chain shops and less traffic in Highgate following survey
The people of Highgate have spoken - and they are demanding less traffic, more individual shops and the relocation of the bus terminus from the centre of the village.
These are the main calls from those who took part in a survey conducted by the new Highgate Neighbourhood Forum among residents and businesses.
The forum is seeking official recognition as a neighbourhood forum under the Localism Act, which would give them powers to make decisions about the future of the area.
While the survey also documented how much people enjoy living there, traffic was the big bugbear, with more than half of the 250 respondents complaining about it in Highgate High Street and Archway Road.
Suggestions for reducing congestion included widening pavements and introducing 20mph speed limits, as well as encouraging bikes and pooled and electric cars.
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Another concern is the 271 bus terminus in the centre of the village. As one person put it: “Highgate’s focal point is a 271 bus when it should be Pond Square.”
Respondents felt there is an insufficient range of shops with too few independents in the village, and the number of estate agents, hairdressers and charity shops is a major drawback. There were also calls to bring back the Post Office.
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Maggy Meade-King, chairman of the forum, said: “The results of the survey give us our marching orders about the issues which we need to address. It looks as if we shall have our hands full.
“Once we have received the official approval of our status by our councils in the next few weeks, we shall be discussing these results at a series of public consultations early in the New Year, at which point we want as many as possible to contribute.”
Simon Briscoe, who analysed the responses, said: “This is a great response for a survey of this kind and has produced some very clear results.
“The open nature of the questions has enabled us to tease out a wide variety of issues, from controlling satellite dishes, to putting up noise barriers on the Archway Road, to reintroducing the village Post Office and introducing community art displays.”
Two public meetings in January are planned to discuss the results. To see more visit www.highgateneighbourhoodforum.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.