Liveable Crouch End: Traders’ poster campaign aimed to raise awareness of consequences for local businesses

Crouch End traffic. Picture: Sam Volpe

Crouch End traffic. Picture: Sam Volpe - Credit: Archant

A grassroots business campaign has voiced its concerns about some of the more “extreme” plans mooted as part of the Liveable Crouch End scheme.

Ahead of the recent closure of the "strategic design questionnaire" - which attracted 2,493 responses - considering how the scheme should proceed, the Crouch End Traders' Association (CETA) ran a poster campaign across the town centre to boost consumer engagement with the survey and encourage those responding to consider businesses' needs.

But Haringey's environment chief - Cllr Kirsten Hearn (Lab, Stroud Green) - said business concerns would be listened to, and "would be fed into the design development" of the scheme - which aims to "encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport" and "improve health and air quality".

CETA's Andrew Georgiou, who has run Broadway Dry Cleaners for 15 years told this newspaper: "For us, it's all about convenience. People need to be aware that in some of the options, there will be consequences for local businesses."

Since the Liveable Crouch End trial road closures in September and October 2019, the community has been split with others such as Crouch Ender Adrian Essex backing the plans to "improve the public realm".

Adrian said: "What we need to do is provide access to get in and out but not through Crouch End. If the scheme can do that, great. Maybe it can make it a nicer place for people to spend time, and more money."

But he said the CETA felt so passionately because, in a difficult business environment it was concerned at losing passing trade, particularly if through traffic is blocked.

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He added: "Maybe I am pushing the panic button, but this could be the thing that pushes people under."

Cllr Hearn said the CETA had been involved in the questionnaire's design and said: "As previously discussed with the traders, we will be visiting businesses to discuss the project with them and see that traders' aspirations and concerns are fed into the design development."

She said the town hall was committed to working with businesses to create an "attractive and welcoming shopping area".

An evaluation of the response to the questionnaire will be published in March, ahead of further plans being drawn up this summer.