Hampstead and Highgate pavement-widening barriers come down in Camden U-turn
- Credit: Harry Taylor
Measures to widen pavements in parts of Hampstead and Highgate have been dropped by Camden Council due to a lack of people using them.
Barriers were erected in several roads across the borough amid the need to social distance during the pandemic. Several have been criticised, including in Parkway and Well Walk.
However, council officials have decided to roll back on them in Hampstead High Street and Well Walk in Hampstead, and Millfield Lane in Highgate. The new one-way road system in the Highgate street will be kept for the remainder of its 12-month trial.
A council decision notice says “the number of pedestrians from on-site observations has reduced”. The barriers in Millfield Lane and Well Walk were to help people access Hampstead Heath for their daily walks.
Cartoonist Ken Pyne, who lives in Well Walk welcomed the U-turn, saying it had caused havoc for residents.
You may also want to watch:
“The road could only cope with one vehicle at a time before the changes were put in, so you can imagine the problems that it caused. The bin collection lorries couldn’t get through the road, and the barriers kept on being pushed over all the time, so it meant it was useless.
“You also had all the pollution caused by the traffic jams, and the road rage and noise from all the drivers blasting their horns.”
- 1 'Picture of health': Mum's tribute to son who died of sudden cardiac arrest
- 2 Police investigate reported rape of teenager
- 3 London Zoo's aviary unwrapped to create new monkey home
- 4 The situation in North London as Arsenal come up against Spurs
- 5 Tennis coach 'distraught' at losing Belsize role amid club row
- 6 Clapped in the street - and assaulted: Staff call for behaviour change in A&E
- 7 Watchdog upholds 27 complaints over 'systemic' failures by Haringey Council
- 8 E-scooter rider arrested over suspected drug dealing
- 9 The Vagina Museum searches for new home as Camden Market leases end
- 10 Helen Allingham's Hampstead watercolour up for auction
Hampstead Town councillor Cllr Oliver Cooper said: “Listening to residents’ feedback before introducing schemes would make Camden stronger, not weaker. Camden needs to stop rushing into changes without caring what residents think.”
The barriers are being removed this week at a cost of £3,151, which will come from TfL funding.
The reversal comes at an uncertain time for the future of the borough’s new Covid-19 walking and cycling initiatives. Transport for London has said it will be removing the new cycle lane in Euston Road, while restaurant owners in Haverstock Hill have criticised Camden Council for not consulting properly over two proposed cycle lanes.
Cllr Adam Harrison, Camden’s transport chief, said: “We have been monitoring all these measures closely and due to the easing of lockdown, we are seeing fewer pedestrians using the temporary widened pavements at Well Walk, Millfield Lane and Hampstead High Street. There is therefore now less of a need for those specific measures in these locations.”
Cllr Cooper added: “A lot of changes were rushed through earlier this year without consultation. Many of the changes being rammed through didn’t make sense then and some that made sense then don’t make sense now. The government has rightly ordered councils not to make changes without consulting residents.
“Camden has tried to justify its schemes by saying there would be a ten-fold increase in cycling in London. However, while removing its own cycle lane in Euston Road, TfL confirmed that there has been just a 20% increase on weekdays: one-fortieth as much. The evidence is not there to support Camden’s claims.”