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Dartmouth Park survey shows support for Swain’s Lane closure - but butcher calls it a ‘terrible’ idea

PUBLISHED: 15:37 17 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:26 18 August 2020

DPNF's survey showed three quarters of respondents supported closing Swain's Lane to traffic at the weekends. Picture: Polly Hancock

DPNF's survey showed three quarters of respondents supported closing Swain's Lane to traffic at the weekends. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Swain’s Lane should be closed to traffic on the weekends, according to three quarters of respondents to a survey in Dartmouth Park.

Leslie Wood, from Swains Lane Butchers. Picture: Polly HancockLeslie Wood, from Swains Lane Butchers. Picture: Polly Hancock

Held across two weeks in July, Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forum’s survey gauged the area’s views on traffic and travel.

A total of 74pc backed closing Swain’s Lane to traffic to allow outdoor tables and chairs for cafés. 94 pc appreciated the fall in traffic and air pollution during lockdown.

The survey was completed by 401 people, with majority support shown for interventions such as reducing through traffic, building cycle lanes on busy roads, and pedestrianising streets.

Sev Dnmz, from Fam Green Grocery Market, said: “Having more people out on the streets is better for business and less cars means less pollution.”

Ibrahim Tas, Ilhah Boz and Sev Dnmz from Fam greengrocers. Picture: Polly HancockIbrahim Tas, Ilhah Boz and Sev Dnmz from Fam greengrocers. Picture: Polly Hancock

But Leslie Wood, of Swains Lane Butchers, said closing the road is a “terrible” idea and that “a lot of businesses would lose out”.

Leslie said: “Most of our customers drive and park outside the store. People are lazy, they don’t want to park somewhere else and walk.”

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Leslie added that because the butcher has recently moved from Primrose Hill, many customers drive to their store.

Swain' s Lanet at the junction with Highgate Road and Highgate West Hill. Picture: Polly HancockSwain' s Lanet at the junction with Highgate Road and Highgate West Hill. Picture: Polly Hancock

John Chamberlain, of the Camden Cyclists campaign group, welcomed traffic changes introduced during the pandemic.

John said: “We’re hoping to see more work on reducing through traffic in neighbourhoods. It’s always difficult because the devil’s in the detail.

“Any scheme should not displace traffic onto other quiet roads. Schemes that close one or two roads could have that effect and so an area-wide scheme is needed.

“Camden Cyclists would be very supportive of such a scheme and are pleased to see that the majority of people in the area agree.”

Greg Ivison from Bourne's fishmongers. Picture: Polly HancockGreg Ivison from Bourne's fishmongers. Picture: Polly Hancock

Ben Castell, from the DPNF, said the survey’s response was “fantastic” and that it provided “useful insights”.

Ben said: “Based on the views of our community, we are asking Camden Council to explore with local people and businesses ways of reducing the impact of traffic on air quality, safety and quality of life.

“Where other parts of London have introduced measures, the evidence shows that businesses benefit hugely and residents are making healthier travel choices.”

Camden Council said it is reviewing the results of the survey against its own travel objectives.


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