Residents demand review of 'dangerous' Muswell Hill car park
Robyn Rosen CONCERNED residents and councillors across the political spectrum are demanding a review of a Muswell Hill car park which they have labelled as dangerous . Residents have been campaigning for eight years to introduce changes to the car park i
CONCERNED residents and councillors across the political spectrum are demanding a review of a Muswell Hill car park which they have labelled as "dangerous".
Residents have been campaigning for eight years to introduce changes to the car park in Summerland Gardens, behind Marks and Spencer in Muswell Hill Broadway.
The car park, regularly used by parents and young children on their way to Muswell Hill Primary School or the community centre, currently has little pedestrian access, forcing people to walk through the same narrow entrance and exit as cars.
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But the campaign has found a new lease of life after the council has agreed that the centre, which is currently a youth club, will become a base for a satellite children's centre, providing under-fives care, family health and other support services, as well as the youth club.
Muswell Hill councillor Gail Engert said: "If the Muswell Hill centre is to become a provider of children's centre services I would urge the council to provide safe pedestrian access to the centre, as the current pedestrian access through Summerland Gardens car park or Hillfield Park puts pedestrians at dangerous conflict with cars exiting and entering the car park."
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Peter Thompson, chairman of the Hillfield Park residents association, said: "There is a real problem about safety.
"It's amazing that there haven't been any serious accidents. There is no safe way for parents with children or buggies.
"We want the council to do something about it."
Hilary Plant, a mother of two from Hillfield Park, said: "It's an accident waiting to happen. It's all steps and broken paving there so people with buggies have to push it right into the road instead and cars come very fast through there. It's a really safety issue."
Jessica Albert has three children under the age of six and does six school runs a day through the car park.
"People have been quite abusive to me to get out the road but there's no where else you can go with a buggy," she said.
Lib Dem roads spokesman and Fortis Green councillor, Martin Newton, said: "I would like to see changes to the car park that makes this safe for pedestrians and also fully explores vehicle entry and exit.
"I would like a real commitment to exploring an entry/exit from Summerland Gardens and the Broadway that stops the daily road rage caused by vehicles having to exit into the surrounding narrow residential streets.
"Money raised from parking here should be used to benefit local residents."
Claire Kober, leader of the Labour-led council, said: "There are issues there in terms of going down that steep slope into the car park where there's very little dedicated pedestrian access."
A spokesman from the council added: "The question of pedestrian access and safety has been raised and the council will be looking at what improvements are needed.